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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Life, Consciousness, and Existence

Yeah, this is a biggie. It might even be the biggest on all of Shmoop, and this in a book that's less than 100 pages. And we start off right away, because the first sentences of The Hour of the Sta...

Philosophical Viewpoints: Existentialism

Are you feeling pretty secure in your existence? Feel like you've got a pretty good grasp on the meaning of truth and universal ethical principles? Meet your worst nightmare. Existentialism is a tw...

Poverty

Macabéa lives on hot dogs, soda, and cold coffee. Throw in a pizza, and it sounds like your typical college student. But Macabéa has probably never heard of pizza—just like she's never heard of...

Identity

Who am I? What am I doing here? Am I a monster? Where did I put my keys? Just a typical day, right? For all that these questions of identity are huge, paralyzing, and potentially life-altering, the...

Language and Communication

Here's the problem: the narrator, an educated and sophisticated man, is speaking on behalf of an ignorant and almost voiceless woman. How can we be sure that he's speaking accurately? Welcome, frie...

Isolation

So, about halfway through the book, Macabéa finds a boyfriend. But don't get too excited, because that relationship is mostly about how they don't connect with each other. Even when Olímpico and...

Sadness

It's tempting to feel sad for Macabéa. She's hungry, sickly, ugly, and ignored. Totally sad, right? But she doesn't see it that way. So one of the questions The Hour of the Star asks is whether or...

Suffering

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...
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