The Smallest Woman in the World Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 15 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Smallest Woman in the World.
This section contains 278 words
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The Smallest Woman in the World Summary & Study Guide Description

The Smallest Woman in the World Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Smallest Woman in the World by Clarice Lispector.

The following version of this story was used to create this study guide: Lispector, Clarice. “The Smallest Woman in the World.” Complete Stories. New York: New Directions, 2018.

The story begins with Marcel Pretre, French explorer, travelling to Africa. He discovered the smallest woman on Earth, who belongs to a pygmy tribe and has a height of 18 inches. The explorer learned that her race is threatened by Bantus, who silently hunt and eat the pygmies. The moment Marcel Pretre met the pygmy, he named her Little Flower. He then took a picture of her for the national newspaper.

One family who saw the picture of Little Flower in the newspaper felt “tenderness” (172) toward Little Flower. In another house, a young girl felt jealous because Little Flower was smaller than her. Another family felt pity for Little Flower, and a small boy in another house wanted to use Little Flower as a toy. One family who saw the picture wanted to keep Little Flower at their home. However, the father was pessimistic and thought this would lead to fighting.

In Africa, Marcel became concerned, because Little Flower was laughing despite her living conditions. However, Marcel did not know that Little Flower was laughing because she was grateful that she was not being eaten by Bantus. Little Flower then realized that she loved the explorer, and she loved his attire as well. The explorer communicated with Little Flower, learning that she was happy to have her own tree to live in.

The story ends with an older woman seeing the picture of Little Flower in the newspaper and feeling confident that “God knows what he’s doing” (177).

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This section contains 278 words
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