And of Clay We Are Created

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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...
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