Social Voyeurism In And Of Clay We Are Created

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Dylan Middleton English 2112 Professor Ricki Weaver 3 May 2014 “And of Clay We Are Created,” by Isabel Allende, offers an observation of what social psychologists know to as the bystander effect. In the story, Azucena is a young girl, trapped in the muck, in need of a great amount of assistance. As she suffers and countless reporters are on the scene filming, no one ever stops filming to aid her. The reporters care more about getting the story than saving the precious life of another human being. As the story progresses, Allende connects Eva Luna to Rolf and Azucena use voyeurism as a key dramatic device. Using the interpersonal relationships of the characters, Allende takes a look at how voyeurism can be a contributing factor to the growth of social insensitivity to another’s needs. In this story, Allende paints a picture of a little girl who is having what should be a near death experience, but will instead lead to her demise. This change is a result of the fact that even though a passel of reporters and cameramen on the scene, all are insensitive to the suffering of Azucena. The situation is a strong example of the bystander effect. Studies have indicated that in situations such as this one, the members of the group are likely to pass responsibility for saving Azucena to another member of the group. As more news crews report to the scene, each individual feels less compelled to provide aid to this poor girl. Allende lays heavy fault upon the government for not taking appropriate action, saying “geologists had set up their seismographs weeks before and knew that the mountain had awakened again”. She proceeds to say that the geologists knew the ice could be detached from the slopes, but no one would heed their warning. The f... ... middle of paper ... ..., precision lenses, recorders, sounds consoles, lights, reflecting screens, auxiliary motors, cartons of supplies, electricians, sound technicians, and cameramen,” when a single water pump was nowhere to be found. It is borderline inconceivable that all this technology could be present to document such a tragedy, and none present to save the girl’s life. As Azucena endures her struggle, Rolf undergoes a change, leaving the previously detached personality that had helped get through the tasks of a reporter, instead allowing the gravity of the situation to strike him personally. It is at this juncture that voyeurism comes into play. Typically, voyeurism is defined as observing a sexual occurrence in order to receive personal gratification, but some scholars use it to describe intense, distant gazing. The initial aspect of voyeurism in this story is the news camera.

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