The hour of the star: summary, analysis, excerpts –

A star time is a novel by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. It is the author’s most famous work and was first published in 1977, the year of Clarice’s death. In this book, narrator Rodrigo SM shows the creation of the character Macabéa, the poor and resigned northeastern woman who stars in the story.

Typist Macabéa lives in Rio de Janeiro and is dating the ambitious Northeastern Olympic man. He abandons the girl to date Glória, Macabéa’s co-worker. After leaving fortune teller Madame Carlota’s house, the protagonist is run over and has her hour of the star, that is, death.

Read too: The naked hours — analysis of this novel by Lygia Fagundes Telles

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Summary of the work The hour of the star

  • The soap opera The hour of the star is narrated by narrator Rodrigo SM

  • The narrator makes existential reflections throughout the work.

  • Before starting the narrative, he shows the process of creating Macabéa.

  • Macabéa, the protagonist of the story, is a girl of northeastern origin.

  • She works as a typist at a company in Rio de Janeiro.

  • The protagonist dates Olímpico, an ambitious northeasterner.

  • He exchanges her for Glória, Macabéa’s co-worker.

  • After consulting a fortune teller, Macabéa is run over and dies.

Video lesson about The Hour of the Star

Analysis of the work The hour of the star

  • Plot of the work The hour of the star

The story begins with the words of the narrator, that is, Rodrigo SM He introduces himself, makes deep reflections and shows the process of creating the protagonist Macabéa. At this point, the narrator gives up his omniscience, states that “I guessed a lot about her”, but also says that he seems to “know this northeastern woman in the smallest details”.

According to the narrator, “the typist doesn’t want to leave” his shoulders. He refers to Macabéa and states that “poverty is ugly and promiscuous”. This way, he builds the character, his story and personality. Finally, he starts narrative of the life of Macabéa.

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She works, as a typist, in a pulley representative firm. However, her boss is dissatisfied because she makes a lot of mistakes when typing and gets the paper dirty. Poor Macabéa has no charms. The narrator states: “Only I see her as charming.” Then, he talks about Macabéa’s past.

She was born stunted in the northeastern backlands and became an orphan parents when he was two years old. In Maceió, he started to live with his blessed aunt, who gave him blows on the head. Later, she and her relative moved to the city of Rio de Janeiro. After her aunt’s death, Macabéa began to live in a room shared with four other girls.

One May, she meets a boy, they look at each other “through the rain” and recognize each other as two people from the Northeast. Olímpico invites Macabéa to go for a walk. The next two times they meet, it is also raining, which leads the boy to say: “The only thing you know is when it rains!”

He is a worker, but calls himself a “metal worker”. Olímpico is ambitious, dishonest, thinks he is intelligent and wants to be a deputy. Soon he becomes extremely rude and impatient with his girlfriend, while she is always resigned. Until he meets Glória, his girlfriend’s co-worker, and abandons Macabéa.

The protagonist accepts the situation and an invitation to have a snack at Glória’s house, who wants to “make up for stealing the other’s boyfriend”. The next day, a Monday, Macabéa feels unwell and looks for a cheap doctor recommended by her colleague. He is impressed by her thinness.

Macabéa reveals that she only eats hot dogs and mortadella sandwiches, and only drinks coffee and soda. AND Glória tells Macabéa to look for the fortune teller, Madame Carlota. The prediction is good: the northeastern woman’s life will change as soon as she leaves the fortune teller’s house. She will meet a blond, foreign man.

According to the fortune teller, he will bring her “big money” and also marry the northeastern woman. However, when leaving the madam’s house, when she is crossing the street, Macabéa is run over by a yellow Mercedes. Then, the narrator shows her last moments, until the protagonist has her moment as a movie star, that is, death.

  • Characters of the work The hour of the star

    • Rodrigo SM: storyteller.

    • Macabéa: protagonist.

    • Raimundo Silveira: chief of Macabéa.

    • Glory: co-worker of the protagonist.

    • Olympic: Macabéa’s boyfriend.

    • Carlota: fortune teller.

  • Work time The hour of the star

The narrator does not specify either the time of the narration or the time of the narrative. We therefore conclude that the story takes place in the 1970s, when the work was written. Furthermore, he alternates between chronological time (in the account of the facts of Macabéa’s life) and psychological time (in the narrator’s digressions).

  • Work space The hour of the star

The story takes place in the city of Rio de Janeiro. However, there is also a reference to the Brazilian Northeast, as this is the protagonist’s region of origin.

  • Narrator of the work The hour of the star

The narrator of The hour of the star has a first and last name: Rodrigo SM He does not participate in the story itself, but acts as a narrator-character and moves between observation and omniscience.

Read too: O alienist — analysis of this Machado novel that tells the story of Simão Bacamarte

Features of the work The hour of the star

The soap opera The hour of the star has no chapters. However, it is divided into blocks or fragments of text, which fulfill this function. First published in 1977, the same year of the author’s death, the book is part of the third modernist generation (or post-modernism).

The prose of this period is characterized by presence of stream of consciousness, which allows the psychological analysis of the characters. The structure of the text is unconventional, and the narrative is usually fragmented. There is also the use of metalanguage. The theme tends to be universal and, therefore, independent of regional characteristics.

Excerpts from The hour of the star

“Everything in the world started with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of prehistory and there was never and there was yes. There always has been. I don’t know what, but I know that the universe never began.”

“As long as I have questions and there are no answers, I will continue to write. How can we start at the beginning, if things happen before they happen? If before pre-prehistory there were already apocalyptic monsters? If this story doesn’t exist, it will exist. Thinking is an act. Feeling is a fact.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m going to continue talking about myself because I’m my unknown, and when I write I’m a little surprised because I discovered that I have a destiny. Who hasn’t asked themselves: am I a monster or is this what it means to be a person?”

«It’s that ‘who am I?’ causes need. And how to satisfy the need? Anyone who asks is incomplete.”

“I also forgot to say that the record that will soon have to begin — because I can no longer stand the pressure of the facts — the record that will soon have to begin is written under the sponsorship of the most popular soft drink in the world and that not really pay me nothing, soda is spread across all countries. In fact, he was the one who sponsored the last earthquake in Guatemala. Even though he tastes like nail polish, Aristolino soap and chewed plastic. All this does not prevent everyone from loving him with servility and subservience. Also because — and I’m going to say something difficult now that only I understand — because this drink that contains coke is today. It is a way for a person to update themselves and step into the present moment.”

“(She bothers me so much that I became hollow. I’m hollowed out by this girl. And she bothers me the more the less she complains. I’m angry. A rage that knocks over glasses and plates and breaks windows. How can I get revenge? Or rather, how can I make up for it? ? I know: loving my dog ​​who has more food than the girl. Why doesn’t she react? Where’s some fiber? No, she’s sweet and obedient.)”

“. This girl didn’t know that she was what she was, just as a dog doesn’t know that she is a dog. Hence you don’t feel unhappy. The only thing she wanted was to live. She didn’t know what for, she didn’t ask herself.”

“. I could take the easy way out, kill the infant girl, but I want the worst: life. Those who read me, like this, get punched in the stomach to see if it’s any good. Life is a punch in the gut.”

LISPECTOR, Clarice. The hour of the star. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 1998.

Clarice Lispector

Clarice Lispector born December 10, 1920, in Tchetchelnik, Ukraine. That year, the parents came to Brazil, bringing their three daughters. In 1922, they went to live in Maceió, and Haia Lispector changed her name to Clarice Lispector. But she was left motherless in 1930. Five years later, she and her family moved to Rio de Janeiro.

Clarice Lispector (1969), photographed by Maureen Bisilliat.

In 1940, she began working as an editor and reporter at National Agency. He graduated in Law in 1943. That same year, he published his first novel — Close to the wild heart. It was the beginning of a successful career as a writerwhich only came to an end on December 9, 1977, with the death of the author.

Image credits

Rocco Publisher (reproduction)

Wikimedia Commons (reproduction)

By Warley Souza
Literature Teacher