Yes, I am going to be talking about Les Mis again in this blog. A couple days back, I talked about who is my favorite survivor from Les Mis. Now, I want to talk about my favorite character who died in Les Mis. Now this is even harder than the first time. I have many favorite characters who do not live to beyond the barricade. I will talk about all my favorites and explain why I love them.
The first character I am going to talk about is Jean Valjean, the protagonist of the story. He was imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to save his family for five years and fourteen years for trying to escape. He really was a humble and good man coming into prison and came out a bitter, hardened, and angered man. Through the example set by the bishop, Valjean learned to become a better person. He showed compassion towards the poor especially Fantine. He helped save Fantine when he intervened to prevent her from being arrested by Javert. He did promise to Fantine on her deathbed that he would raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own and that is one of the best things that Valjean ever did. He was shocked to discover that Cosette was terribly abused by the Thenardiers’, but after adopting her, her life improved and she learned to love through Valjean. He even helped save Marius’ life after he was severely wounded at the barricades because Marius loves Cosette. So by the end of Les Mis, Valjean became this saint-like man and I love him for his transformation from beginning to end.
The second character counts as multiple characters, who are Enjolras and the students especially Enjolras and Gavroche. I love Enjorlas and I love him because he is this wonderful leader and is so passionate towards the cause. I love Gavroche because despite being a street urchin, he shows such strength. He is one of the Thenardier children, which I discovered through the book. Gavroche is so heroic especially on the barricade at the moment he climbed over the collect ammunition. As for the other students, I love every single one of them due to their relationship among each other. Enjolras, Gavrcohe, and the students have this close bond and stay passionate towards the end even when they felt hopeless. They may all have died in the the rebellion, but they still represent change for France.
The third character I am going to talk about is Eponine, Thenardiers’ eldest child. As a child, she was spoiled by her parents. But when she became a teenager, things become even worse. Her parent’s inn became bankrupt and they fell into extreme poverty. Her parents basically dragged her in the criminal world. They never once showed her kindness and once Cosette was taken away, they started to abuse her and she became neglected by her family and never once felt love. Her life changed when she fall in love with Marius, but that love was destined to become unrequited. Marius is her only source of light in her terrible life and she basically risks her life several times for him. Because of her love for Marius, she was able to somehow raise above from her upbringing. She ended up somehow having some kind of moral compass despite how she was raised and this was all because of Marius. She does end up disguising herself as a boy to spend time at the barricades to be near Marius, which lead to tragic consequences. After delivering the letter to Cosette from Marius, she still returned to the barricade and while climbing up she got fatally shot, but she still had strength to climb down to tell Marius she delivered his letter. She got to die in the arms of the man she loved and that is why her death is as touching as it is. Marius truly showed her compassion in these last couple of minutes of her life, but she died happy.
Another favorite character of mine is Fantine. I love the unconditional love she shows towards her daughter. Her storyline is one of the most heartbreaking stories in Les Mis. She was abandoned by her lover and left her to fend for Cosette by herself. Cosette was an illegitimate child, which was not a good thing in 19th century. She had to hand her child off to the Thenardiers and they said they would do it as long as she sends a weekly sum. Little did she know that this family would terribly abuse her daughter, which kind of makes her story more heartbreaking. She ended up working at Valjean’s factory, but ended up being fired by the foreman after a fight broke out when it was discovered that she had an illegitimate child. Fantine blames her firing on Valjean and now she is even more desperate to provide for her daughter. Throughout her storyline, she never realizes that the letter she received was a hoax. She ended up selling her locket and hair and even herself just for the sake of her daughter. This downward spiral continued after she fall ill and was almost arrested by Javert after she attacked a man in self-defense after she was harassed by him. Valjean witnessed all of this and saved Fantine even though her life couldn’t be saved. Fantine was able to die in peace and comfort after Valjean promised her that he would raise Cosette as his own.
Who is your favorite character from Les Mis that does not live beyond the barricade?