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The Hour of the Star

The Hour of the Star

by Clarice Lispector

Isolation Theme

So, about halfway through the book, Macabéa finds a boyfriend. But don't get too excited, because that relationship is mostly about how they don't connect with each other. Even when Olímpico and Glória get together, their relationship isn't love; it's just sex and social advancement. Yeah, The Hour of the Star isn't a very cheerful book. But is there anything good that comes out of isolation? After all, the narrator says that he believes truth comes in solitude. Still, we can't help wishing that poor Macabéa had managed to make even one friend.

Questions About Isolation

  1. Why does everyone in this book seem to be alone? Does it seem that there are any meaningful connections between people?
  2. Does the isolation of the characters seem to reflect some sort of fundamental truth? Are we each just alone in the world?
  3. Why does the narrator believe you can find truth only when you're alone? What might that mean?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In a book full of isolated characters, the narrator is the most isolated of all.

Macabéa's life and death prove the universal truth that we are all alone.

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