Well, it currently is sprinkling outside and reminded me of “On My Own” from Les Mis. “On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius, which is a highly important part of her story. I do feel like this song goes beyond the unrequited love. Below I will describe the song more in detail.
Well, “On My Own” was my second exposure to unrequited love in musicals. But it was the song where I finally began to understand the concept. I didn’t quite understand what it meant to suffer through unrequited love. But through this song, you can clearly see just how strong Eponine’s love for Marius is. A common misconception about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius is that some people are puzzled as to why she loves him so much. In order to understand the unrequited love situation, you have to understand what Eponine’s life is like outside of Marius.
There are three parts in this song: the intro, the middle, and the rest. The intro starts at “and now I’m all alone again” and end at “the city goes to bed and I can live inside my head”. After that the main part of the song begins starting with “on my own pretending he’s beside me” and that part ends at “and all I see is him and me forever and forever”. Then there’s a sudden crescendo and keeps on building up until it is time for the song to slow down and come to a close.
I feel like in the introduction, it does give you more insight into who Eponine is as a person. I feel like you see aspects of Eponine’s life that are not related to the unrequited love. Through the opening lyrics “and now I’m all alone again”, it does show just how empty Eponine’s life is. Even at the words “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to”, it shows that she has virtually no one in her life. She doesn’t even have parents who care about her and they treat her horribly and she doesn’t have friends either at all. Just by looking at lyrics like that, you start to understand why Marius means everything to her. He is all she has in her life, but she cannot have him. He is the only person who treats her kindly. She could have become just as selfish, greedy, and abusive as her parents, but she doesn’t which I think has something to do with Marius.
The second part of the song is truly when the song begins. That whole section gives a nature of fantasy throughout. It shows that she gets through the day by imagining that Marius is with her and that he loves her. But when that crescendo starts, the emotion truly starts to enter the picture.
At that moment, it is when Eponine comes to terms with the situation she finds herself in. She realizes that Marius will never be hers. She realizes its only in her mind where she can imagine a future with Marius. She realizes that no matter what, Marius will never love her and she is quite aware that Marius doesn’t even realize that she loves him. I feel like the building up of emotion is key to the song. As the song gets louder, the song gains more and more strength and that type of strength shows just how strong of a character Eponine is and shows just how strong her love for Marius is.
Towards the end, there’s another lyric that goes beyond the unrequited love. She sings “a world thats full of happiness that I have never known”. She is a character who doesn’t have a lot of good things happen in her life. She was raised to be a criminal and was horribly abused. She knows that the only good in her life is Marius. This song shows that she will always love Marius and will continue to show true love towards him even if he wouldn’t do the same for her.
I have to confess that I didn’t realize “On My Own” was heartbreaking right away. I found myself falling in love with Eponine the second time I saw the movie. I wasn’t able to grasp the concept of unrequited love right away. But as I got to know Eponine more and more, I realized that this song was a heartbreaker. This song is quite a powerful song and the use of crescendo adds to the heartbreaking nature of the song.
Because I talked about “On My Own” today, I am planning to talk about “I’m Not That Girl” tomorrow.