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The Hour of the Star

The Hour of the Star

by Clarice Lispector

Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

The person of whom I am about to speak is so simple-minded that she often smiles at other people on the street. No one acknowledges her smile for they don't even notice her. (1.19)

When you drive a car, you have to be careful that things don't slip into a spot between the rear view mirror and the side mirrors. That's the car's blind spot. Macabéa essentially lives, with a lot of other marginalized people, in the world's blind spot. They don't see her, so she doesn't exit.

Quote #2

She had been born with a legacy of misfortune, a creature from nowhere with the expression of someone who apologizes for occupying too much space. (3.57)

Pop quiz: name one person in the entire book who's nice to Macabéa. Bet you can't do it. That's because they all pick up on this feeling Macabéa has that she's not even worth being nice to—that her entire existence is a mistake. It's pretty depressing.

Quote #3

No one paid any attention to her on the street, for she was as appetizing as cold coffee. (3.57)

Aside from the fact that cold coffee really isn't that bad (c'mon, haven't you ever heard of an iced Americano?), this quote is depressing because it suggests that you have to be a certain level of attractiveness before you even get to be considered human.

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