| Quote #4
It is better not to speak of happiness or unhappiness—such words provoke that vague nostalgia suffused in lilac, the perfume of violets, these gelid tidal waters that send spray over the sands. I have no desire to provoke any of these things for they are painful. (4.285)
You know how sometimes you turn on the sad music because you feel like being depressed? (No? Just us?) That's what the narrator's talking about here, except … fancier.
| Quote #5
Besides, what else could she do? She was a lost cause. And even sadness was the privilege of the rich, of those who could afford it, of those who had nothing better to do. Sadness was a luxury. (4.290)
Macabéa carries on after Olímpico dumps her, because she has no choice. She literally cannot afford to take time off from work and, like, lie in bed eating ice cream and watching old movies.
| Quote #6
Maca even thought of herself as being happy. She was no idiot yet she possessed the pure happiness of idiots. (4.353)
Usually, when people say "ignorance is bliss," they're saying it sarcastically. They don't really mean it. But, you know? Maybe it really is. Who's to say what happiness is except the person feeling it?