And of Clay We Are Created
The Miseries of Misfortune In Isabel Allende’s short story, “And of Clay Are We Created”, Azucena, a young Latino girl, endures a number of hardships after an avalanche traps her in the mud, while in Gabriel Gracia Marquez’s short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, an angel man, who brings good fortune to a family, struggles with mockery. Both characters deal with misfortune throughout each of the short stories, and unlike the angel, who has no one, Azucena, has Rolf, a caring reporter, to comfort her through her experience.
Over the course of both short stories each character suffers in some way. As soon as the angel arrives, Pelayo, the owner of the property “drag[s] him out of the mud and lock[s] him up with the hens in the wire chicken coop” (588). The angel withstands physical discomfort, even as he brings good fortune to the family that he stumbles upon. Azucena suffers as well, when “they [discover] [her] head protruding from a mud pit” (258). Azucena, like the angel, undergoes physical pain because of her dreadful and horrific situation.
Azucena and the angel endure moments of suffering, as well as experiencing the burden of exploitation by the people surrounding them. At the scene of the mud pit, “[the reporter’s] camera zoom[s] in on the girl” (289). Azucena, growing in popularity, soon develops into the top news story, deprived and stripped of her privacy as she lies in the mud. In addition, the angel, turns into the town attraction, and people “without the slightest reverence, [toss] him things to eat through the openings…as if he weren’t a supernatural creature but a circus animal” (588).
The people of the town treat the angel poorly instead of treating him with the respect and seeing him as a gift from God. Not only do the angel and Azucena have commonality as characters, but they also share differences as well. In “And of Clay Are We Created” Azucena begs Rolf and says, “don’t leave me alone” and Rolf stays for her (261). When Azucena begs Rolf, she simply makes a plea for comfort; and he abides never leaving her side.
Where as, in “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, “the angel was the only one” without anyone to care and comfort him (591). Unlike Azucena, the angel appears all alone. Through all his suffering and mocking, people continue to disrespect him and not honor him in the way he so deserves. Together, Azucena and the angel endure misfortune and disrespect at the hands of humans and Mother Nature. Ultimately, both share the burden of suffering, one consoled and one not.
This, therefore, brings upon change to people’s lives. The angel brings about materialistic gain, while Azucena’s changes a person’s heart. Works Cited Allende, Isabel. “And of Clay Are We Created. ” Elements of Literature. Ed. Laura Wood. 3rd ed. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2005. 257-265. Print. Marquez, Garcia Gabriel. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. ” Elements of Literature. Ed. Laura Wood. 3rd ed. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2005. 587-595. Print.