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In Bizet's opera Carmen, Micaela is a girl from the corporal Don José's home village who is betrothed to him. She comes to his barracks to visit him, and it's at this time that a violent incident occurs between Carmen and another woman in the cigarette factory where they work.

José is tasked with arresting Carmen and escorting her to jail. He's immediately smitten with her, and he unties her and lets her escape, knowing that by doing so, he'll be sent to jail himself. After he's released, he deserts from the army and goes to live with Carmen and the band of smugglers she is a part of.

Though she's been deserted by José, Micaela makes a last-ditch effort to get him back, finding him at his mountain hideout and pleading with him to return to her. He rebuffs her, but when she tells him his mother is dying in their village, he agrees to go with her—intending, however, to return to Carmen (though she in turn has deserted him for the toreador Escamillo).

In the conclusion of the opera José confronts Carmen outside the arena during one of Escamillo's bull-fights. When Carmen refuses to return to him, José stabs her to death.

Michael Chabon's story "S Angel" involves a young man who takes an interest in an older woman named Carmen he meets at a wedding party. In literature, both Carmen and Micaela are tropes of female roles (for those familiar with the opera and the novel by Prosper Mérimée on which it's based) of, respectively, a worldly woman and an innocent younger one who serves as a foil to her in a story. The Micaela figure is associated with the idea of a previous, superseded life of innocence a man gives up for a more exciting and and less "virtuous" one.

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