“..The weeping of orphans and wails of the injured filled the air, the little girl obstinately clinging to life became the symbol of the tragedy.” In the short story, “And of Clay Are We Created” Isabel Allende creates a story about a young girl who is trapped beneath gravel and mud. The author uses many different strategies to create this story. Allende utilizes imagery and tone to convey a better understanding of the story and its characters.
One literary device Allende uses to enhance the story is imagery. Allende states, “..She was also held by the bodies of her brothers and sisters clinging to her legs.”(987). This quote tells the reader why Azucena, the young girl, was in pain while they tried freeing her from the mud. This quote is a good example of imagery because it makes the reader imagine younger siblings holding on for their lives, hoping that their older sister can save them.
This quote helps the story create sympathy in the reader because losing a sibling can be one of the hardest things to do, but knowing that you were the one responsible to save them, but couldn’t and have them still there holding on, is an unimaginable feeling that Azucena dealt with.
Isabel Allende uses imagery in the story many times. One of the many examples that stood out was when Allende states, “…Amputating arms without anesthesia.”(989). This informs the reader how people that were injured had to be treated without any anesthesia, which made it extremely painful. This quote demonstrates the use of imagery because it creates a very vivid gruesome picture in the readers mind by letting them know the extreme pain the people had to go through to be cured. This quote affects the story by emphasizing pain into the readers thinking.
The author also uses good diction to establish a melancholy tone in the story. Allende mentions, “The sky is weeping.”(989). This tells the reader that it is raining, in a more dramatic way. This quote creates a melancholy tone because it instills a depressing feeling for the reader by showing that Azucena’s situation is so sad, even the skies were crying for her. Another quote that Allende uses to establish a melancholy tone is, “…I felt his frustration, his impotence.”(989).
In this quote Allende is stating that the character, Rolf, was so frustrated that she too, felt it. This extends the melancholy tone because it makes the reader feel sorry for Rolf since he feels weak and powerless due to the fact he cannot do anything to help Azucena. Using the good quotes, Isabel Allende makes the melancholy tone able to be seen clearly.
In the story the author demonstrates imagery and tone to develop a better understanding of the story. Isabel Allende uses good examples of imagery to help the reader imagine the setting and what is happening in the story. She also uses diction to help set a tone for the story, to make the reader feel melancholy. Using imagery and tone makes a story more interesting and easier to understand, without them a story can be empty and plain losing the reader’s interest.