Whether it is being starved by hunger, abused by her aunt, criticized by her boss, berated by her boyfriend, rejected by a frustrated doctor, or dying alone by a gutter in the cold rain, Macabéa's life seems, well, less than awesome. No wonder she's in pain all the time. She can't explain it, but we can—it's called suffering. Lots and lots of it. And The Hour of the Star (not to mention us) wants to know why.
Lispector suggests that suffering can lead to a state of grace.
Macabéa's ignorance protects her, because it keeps her from recognizing how much she has suffered throughout her life.