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The Hour of the Star

The Hour of the Star


by Clarice Lispector

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage: This is a weird anticipation stage, because Macabéa is so poor and mistreated that she literally has no ambitions or anticipations or expectations. But the narrator does, and we do—we'd really like to see something good happen to the poor girl. (Well, we hope you do.) So … maybe this is going to be our tragedy, instead of Macabéa's?

Dream Stage: Olímpico might not be everyone's dream guy, but he sure is Macabéa's. Dating him gives her some connection to the world, and she feels she can "no longer do without him in her hunger for love" (3.131).

Frustration Stage: Olímpico's frustration, that is, because he's super frustrated with Macabéa and her curiosity (not to mention virginity). Of course, there's also our frustration, because Macabéa puts up with a lot of nonsense from Olímpico, and we're pretty relieved when …

Nightmare Stage: … he breaks up with her for her hot co-worker Glória. There is a plus side: she starts to have these weird moment of grace, where she has some sort of paralytic vision. Okay, maybe not so much a plus side.

Destruction or Death Wish Stage: Macabéa visits a fortuneteller, Madame Carlota, who feeds Macabéa a very appealing line about how everything is going to change for the better.

Sure, if you consider getting run over by a big yellow Mercedes "better." At least it wasn't, like, a '98 Honda Civic. Right?

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