51 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Allende

And of Clay Are We Created

Fiction | Short Story | YA | Published in 1989

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


Use these activities to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity. 

ACTIVITY: “That’s Pathetic”

In the opening paragraphs of “And of Clay Are We Created,” Allende uses a type of personification called pathetic fallacy, which is the assignment of human traits (especially emotions) to nature. For example, the narrator refers to the volcano in Paragraph 2 as issuing a “subterranean sob.”

Think of a natural feature or phenomenon (the wind, a cliff face, a heat wave, etc.) and free associate, jotting down the words or images that it calls to mind. Then, use your notes to craft a poem or short story that employs pathetic fallacy.

Teaching Suggestion: Writers often use pathetic fallacy to enhance mood and underscore their characters’ emotional state(s), but in Allende’s story, the imagery goes deeper, highlighting the fundamental unity of humanity and nature. Use this activity not only to familiarize students with the particular literary device, but also to prompt reflection about the relationship between theme and style.