Free Study Guide for Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: "Les Mis"|
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LES MISERABLES: FREE ONLINE STUDY GUIDE / LITERARY CRITICISM
The new kings fail to realize that the people are looking to the Revolution
of 1798 as an event that was not quite completed. Even across the channel,
the English poets of the day had believed that the French Revolution would
end tyranny everywhere. It did not do that, but it planted the seeds of
freedom and gave people a taste of equality. The new monarchy failed because
the Bourbon kings thought they could give and take rights in an arbitrary
Marius moves out of the Gorbeau House and back into Courfeyrac’s room. He discovers that Thenardier has been arrested with the other robbers and is in solitary confinement. Marius begins sending him 5 francs per week. Meanwhile, he roams the streets, unable to think of anything but the girl he loves. He doesn’t know her real name but had heard Thenardier call her “the Lark.” One day his wandering leads him across a field with one pond and a wooded area at one end, rather like a park. Marius overhears another wanderer call it the “field of the lark” and resolves to return to it every day.
Javert is frustrated because he failed to catch both the victim of the Gorbeau affair and Montparnasse. On the way to prison, Claquesous also escapes. Brujon is let out of solitary in hopes that he will talk, but he doesn’t. Instead he manages to get notes to Eponine who waits for her father outside the prison.
Eponine is as street wise as her brother and is capable of watching
without being watched herself. She hunts up Marius to tell him that she
knows the address of “the girl.” Eponine leads him to the street where
Cosette and Valjean are living.
Marius’ obsession with Cosette is parallel to Valjean’s except that Valjean, who actually knows the girl, has more reason. Still Valjean has a haunting sense that Marius is still in the picture somewhere. His relationship with Cosette has become a little stifling; when he sees a chain gang passing by their house one day, it is as if his past is catching up to him and will ultimately separate him from Cosette no matter what he does. He seems to feel like he owns her, an idea that has resulted partially from having saved her from the Thenardier’s and also from his own changed life which is an extension of her influence.
Poor Eponine, meanwhile, is in love with Marius herself and does everything
she can to please him even to finding the new location of Cosette. Marius
is so mentally and emotionally wrapped up in his ideas of love for Cosette
that he doesn’t even notice Eponine’s pitiful attempts to get his attention.
(This chapter is a flashback to details from Cosette’s perspective prior to the Gorbeau affair)
Cosette and Valjean live in a small house in the Rue Plummet. They have no neighbors, but the house has a garden in the back and another smaller, workman’s cottage, which adjoins a hidden winding path that meets another street nearly 1/3 mile away. Cosette has matured enough to realize that she is actually beautiful. She begins to ask for clothes and other feminine articles.
This is also the time when Marius sees Cosette at Luxembourg. With nothing
more than an exchange of glances, the two are deeply in love. Cosette
begins to look for him on her frequent walks with her father although
she says nothing to Valjean. After Valjean successfully traps Marius into
revealing the object of his attentive glances, Valjean and Cosette no
longer walk in the Luxembourg. Valjean continues the morning walks, but
always in secluded and little known places.
While they are living in this house, Valjean has his confrontation with the
Thenardiers. Cosette has no comprehension of the meaning of his injury
or of what has transpired with the people they had initially set out to
help. Her relationship with Valjean has deteriorated a bit as she is not
happy but does not feel free to tell him why. In fact, she hardly knows
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Ruff, Dr. Karen S. C., D. A.. "TheBestNotes on Les Miserables".
. 09 May 2017