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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Hour of the Star

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Macabéa may live in a major city, but the actual physical spaces that she inhabits are quite limited. As the narrator puts it: "Acre Street for living, Lavradio Street for working, the docks for e...

Narrator Point of View

We get the feeling that Rodrigo can't decide if he wants to be the narrator or the protagonist, and he definitely can't decide how he wants to tell this story. Although it's technically told in fi...

Genre

Sorry, no adventure stories here. Instead, we get the heavy-hitters of literary genres, and a real mix of them. So let's see how we might fit this book in:Glimpse into daily life? Check. Depressing...

Tone

To write, or not to write? That's definitely the question, and it gives the whole book an anxious, guilty feeling.The problem is, Rodrigo is worried that his higher social and economic status makes...

Writing Style

So, the narrator claims that he wants to keep his writing style simple:Like every writer, I am clearly tempted to use succulent terms: I have at my command magnificent adjectives, robust nouns, and...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, in this case, it's more like "What's Up With The Titles?" That's because this book actually has thirteen (13) titles. You can find these thirteen titles right after the "Author's Dedication"...

What's Up With the Ending?

The book ends with a very short two-paragraph chapter. Rodrigo S.M., the narrator, now done with his story, lights a cigarette and goes home. A bit surprised, he recalls that people die (this, afte...

Tough-o-Meter

Sure, The Hour of the Star is short. Hey, you could probably even read through it in one afternoon with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. But that doesn't make it easy, because the book is actually inte...

Plot Analysis

Writer's BlockWe start off in the writer's brain: "Everything in the world began with a yes." Yeah, not very promising, at least not if you're in the mood for a good tale of adventure and derring-d...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Anticipation Stage: This is a weird anticipation stage, because Macabéa is so poor and mistreated that she literally has no ambitions or anticipations or expectations. But the narrator does, and w...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

We guess this act is supposed to introduce Macabéa, a poor, hungry, ugly, lonely, and naïve nineteen-year-old girl living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But really, it mostly seems to be about the na...

Trivia

Clarice Lispector was born in Ukraine to Jewish parents, but they immigrated to Brazil when she was a baby. Though she and her two older sisters were raised as Jews, she identified herself as a Bra...

Steaminess Rating

Okay, technically there's no sex in this book. Macabéa is a virgin, and every time she dreams about sex, she feels so "guilty" (3.81) that she "mechanically [recites] three Hail Marys" in an effor...

Allusions

The Shamed and Oppressed (3.106)Alice in Wonderland (4.192)Emperor Charlemagne (3.95)Pop Culture ReferencesCoca-Cola (3.46) and (3.90)Coty face powder (3.74)Marilyn Monroe (4.230) and (4.291)...
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