The Hour of the Star
How we cite our quotes:
Surely one day she would gain a place in the paradise reserved for misfits. Besides, in her case it simply isn't a question of gaining Paradise. She is a misfit even in this world. I swear that nothing can be done for her. (3.84)
It's funny, because the narrator can't seem to make up his mind whether Macabéa is a total outcast, a misfit, unlike anyone else in the world—or whether she's actually represents each and every one of us. Or are we just a world full of misfits?
How can one disguise the simple fact that the entire world is somewhat sad and lonely? The girl from the North-east was lost in the crowd. (3.106)
So, instead of patting ourselves on the back about how we have 437 Facebook friends, this narrator suggests we should really admit to ourselves that we're all just lost in the crowd. Sure—sometimes our status updates do get lost in the newsfeed.
She had learned from her favourite radio programme that there were seven billion inhabitants in the world. She felt completely lost. But it was in her nature to be happy so she soon resigned herself: there were seven billion inhabitants to keep her company. (4.274)
Talk about turning lemons into lemonade: Macabéa could feel lost in the midst of seven billion indifferent co-planetary residents, but instead she chooses to be happy. Again, perception trumps facts.