51 pages 1 hour read

Isabel Allende

And of Clay Are We Created

Fiction | Short Story | YA | Published in 1989

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Essay Questions

Use these essay questions as writing and critical thinking exercises for all levels of writers, and to build their literary analysis skills by requiring textual references throughout the essay. 

Scaffolded/Short-Answer Essay Questions

Student Prompt: Write a short (1-3 paragraph) response using one of the below bulleted outlines. Cite details from the story over the course of your response that serve as examples and support.

1. Consider the kinship Rolf feels with Azucena.

  • Why does Rolf identify with Azucena, and is that identification rooted in real similarities? (topic sentence)
  • Compare and contrast Rolf’s situation with Azucena’s, identifying at least one difference and one similarity. Use evidence from the text to support your claims.
  • Finally, use your concluding sentence or sentences to state how Rolf’s identification with Azucena connects to the theme of Empathy and Humanity’s Place in the Natural World.

2. The narrator says that Rolf uses the physical presence of his camera to distance himself from the most harrowing journalistic cases he encounters, transporting himself to a different “time.”

  • What does this statement suggest about the relationship between time and pain? (topic sentence)
  • Identify three additional passages in the story that support your claim and analyze them with reference to your topic sentence.
  • Finally, use your concluding sentence or sentences to discuss what this statement about time and pain suggests about either Memory as Agency and Helplessness or Empathy and Humanity’s Place in the Natural World.