Color Code Edited Draft
In November of 1985 a volcanic eruption wiped an entire town off the map. [l1]The town was known as Armero in Columbia. The story “And of Clay Are We Created” and a newspaper article, “Girl Trapped in Water for 55 Hours Dies Despite Rescue Attempts” focus on the tragedy that turned a valley town into a graveyard. While Allende’s story, “And of Clay Are We Created,” and Preston’s article, “Girl Trapped . . .” are both about the tragedy of the eruption that buried the town, the main differences are that the article focused on the facts of what happened to Omaira Sanchez and the fiction story added characters and changed details to make the story more dramatic.[l2]
Although the article and the fiction story have differences in style and intent, the stories are basically similar. [l3]Both take place in the same town of Armero, Columbia. A girl is trapped in a mudslide in both texts. When the overnight eruption happened, both explained that over 20,000 lives were lost, and one girl was made to symbolize the tragic scene. In the story it is described that Azucena had the “pathetic responsibility of embodying the horror of what had happened in that place” (Allende 989). In the newspaper article, the reporter describes that Omaira Sanchez’ grave “came to represent the horror of the disaster” (Preston 999).[l4] The fiction story was clearly based on newspaper reports such as Preston’s.
While the essential story is the same in both texts, the details vary dramatically. [l5]First, the girl’s real name is Omaira Sanchez, and in the fiction story she is named Azucena, Lily, to symbolize the image of the girl like a flower in the mud. The newspaper article focused primarily on Omaira while the fiction story ran rampant with a first person narrator telling the story of her life partner, Rolf Carle, and his interactions with Azucena. The story became more about his life than it was about hers. This was probably because few true details were known about the 13 year-old girl’s actual life before the disaster. The article included factual information such as Omaira dying from low blood pressure which led to a heart attack to the poetic death of Azucena finally giving up, dying, and sinking like a flower in the mud (Preston 998 and Allende 993). [l6]
Both texts have the same tone, and the major difference between them is stylistic. [l7]The tone in both the article and fiction story is sympathetic towards the girl. The article, being informational text, did not have a mood. The imagery and details in the story created a sad and tragic mood. For example, in the newspaper article Omaira is described as, “pinned in the ruins of what was one her home by a cement slab and by the body of an aunt” while Azucena is described as, “caught in the collapsed walls of her house, but . . . also held by the bodies of her brother and sisters clinging to her legs” (Preston 998 and Allende 986-7).[l8] When the author, Allende, changes these details she increases the sad and dramatic mood of the fictionization. She later increases the drama and sadness by including tragic details about the past of Rolf Carle while he comforts Azucena and how reliving his sad memories and watching the young girl die changed him forever.
Preston stuck to the facts in her article; Allende basically stayed true to the basic story of Omaira Sanchez, but she made it more emotionally engaging for the reader. Some readers might prefer a news report to understand a tragic event, but I prefer a more human connection to understand events which have shaped and changed our world.[l9] Strangely enough, the fiction of Azucena made the story of Omaira more real for me. [l10]
[l2]FATt Thesis Statement
[l3]Topic Sentence for similarities
[l4]Evidence from both texts
[l5]Topic Sentence for differences
[l6]I paraphrased evidence here but included my citation
[l7]Topic Sentence for tone and mood
[l8]Evidence from both texts
[l9]I address the opposite point of view and explain why I prefer the fiction. This is my counterargument.
[l10]This paragraph is the only place I use first person because the prompt directs me to give my personal opinion