The Hour of the Star
How we cite our quotes:
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)
Macabéa is so hungry that she resorts to eating paper while fantasizing about beef. Moments like this are weird, because it's hard to believe the narrator talking about how happy Macabéa is when he gives us such specific details of her suffering.
There wasn't a trace of human misery in the girl. She carried within her an aura of innocence. (3.100)
Apparently Macabéa's innocence is so pure that she doesn't even suffer. It's like she makes her own reality—but we can't help feeling that we'd still rather have someone else's reality.
I'm in pain all the time. (4.301)
Weird, right? Macabéa claims that she's happy … but she's in so much pain that she has to ask for aspirin all the time. What's super depressing is that she seems to figure that this is just the way life is. You're in pain all the time.