The Hour of the Star
How we cite our quotes:
At least the girl didn't have to beg for food. (There were others who were even more abandoned and starving.) (3.67)
You think Macabéa's bad off? Imagine what it's like for the people who don't even have the crummy job that she has. Hey, she can't really be poor—she even gets to paint her nails once in a while.
Sometimes before falling asleep she felt the pangs of hunger and became quite giddy as she visualized a side of beef. The solution was to chew paper into pulp and swallow it. Honestly! (3.74)
Check out that "honestly!" It's like the narrator expects us not to believe that someone could be so poor. We only wish he were kidding.
Macabéa only had to smell raw meat in order to convince herself that she had eaten. (4.225)
The narrator is really piling it on here: first Macabéa's chewing paper, and then she's actually sniffing raw meat, which, if you've ever taken a whiff, smells almost exactly unlike a nice juicy piece of steak. But if this is the kind of hunger that people like Macabéa experience, then it's no wonder that Olímpico wants to be a butcher.