Favorite Male Characters: Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote a list of my favorite male characters. Today, I will explain why I love them.

Possible Spoilers:

First up is Jean Valjean. He is the protagonist of Les Misérables. I love him because of his transformation. He is an ex-convict who has been imprisoned unjustly. He was sentenced for five years because he stole a loaf of bread to save his sister’s son. Because of trying to escape, he was imprisoned for nineteen years. When he was released, he was a hateful, harsh, and angry man. He realized that society was treat him poorly because he was an ex-convict. Through an act of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness by the bishop, Valjean was able to start his life fresh.

Years laters, he started to live by the example by the example. He was no longer angry, harsh, and hateful. He began to show compassion towards the poor. He decided to help the prostitute, Fantine, after he intervened to prevent her from being arrested. On her deathbed, Valjean promised to raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. Valjean has this strong spirituality and is one of the reasons why Les Mis is inspirational.

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Another set of Les Mis male characters I love are Gavroche, Enjolras and the students. They are a group of revolutionaries who are planning to start a rebellion. They stand up for what they believe and they continue to stay passionate and hopeful. Even when they know they are going to lose, they still are passionate towards their cause. Of all the students, Enjolras is their leader and the most passionate about the cause.

A lot of their songs are passionate and hopeful, but in “Drink With Me”, they feel quite hopeless because they know are going to lose, but they always stay passionate. I love how they decide to take in Gavroche, a heroic boy. Gavroche is a Thenardier and the parents become his family.

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A group of characters that is similar to the students in Les Mis are the Newsies. Just like the students, they stand up for what they believe in. The Newsies are like this big one family with Jack Kelly as their leader. Of all the Newsies, my favorites are Jack and Crutchie. I love the bond they have for each other, which is clearly shown during “Santa Fe (Prologue). You discover Jack is quite protective of Crutchie. Jack is a well rounded character because he has a hobby of drawing and he eventually goes through inner conflict after seeing Crutchie being arrested after this big fight breaks out.

In Wicked, I love the character of Fiyero. But the problem is I cannot exactly pinpoint why I love him. I don’t know if has something to do with his songs or his costumes of something completely different. He starts out the story with no really caring much about anything. He is involved in a very complicated and ironic love triangle with Elphaba and Glinda. I honestly wish I know why I love this character.

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Another male character I love is the Beast. I love how complex of a character he is. I love how he eventually learned to love. At the beginning, the Beast started out as angry. I don’t blame especially after he had to live his life as beast the enchantress put a spell on him. He had to live his life as a beast and would stay that way if he didn’t learn to love. But when he met Belle, everything changed. Belle taught him the importance of love and she learned to see that is more to the Beast than the temper he always seems to have.

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What are some your favorite male musical characters?

Musical Characters Who Show Courage

What does brave mean? In the musical world, there are character who show courage. They show it in many ways. Below I will talk about some musical characters who show courage. In a lot of ways, these are characters that you can admire and fall in love with.

Possible Spoilers:

Elphaba is a character who shows courage. She shows courage despite how much she keeps on being misunderstood. She does not let anyone define who she is. She stands up for what she believes even though she risks being up against the Wizard. Elphaba knows the Wizard will use her for the wrong reasons so she defies him and decides to go on her own path. Even though this act causes the Wizard to believe she is wicked, she still stays passionate towards her cause.

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Enjolras, Gavroche, Marius and the students all show courage. They stay passionate towards what they believe in. They stand up against France’s weak government at the time. General Lamarque, the only left in the government who shows feelings for the poor, is dying. The students all decide to have an uprising. They are risking their lives for hope of a better France. They know they might die. After Eponine dies, they know they are outnumbered. But despite that, they stay stay passionate towards their cause. At the end all of the students died excluding Marius and even in death, they still were passionate towards their cause. Even Gavroche, who was just a boy, died on the barricades. The students were low on ammunition and he climbed over the barricade and died in the attempt.

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Eponine is another character from Les Mis who shows courage. She has to face terrible abuse from her parents and has to deal with extreme poverty. But when it comes to Marius, she is very protective of him. She loves him so much that she is willing to do anything for him. Even though the love for him is unrequited, she helps him find Cosette even if it risks losing Marius forever. She even shows courage when her father is about to rob Valjean’s house and out of love for Marius, she screams to alert Cosette, Marius, and Valjean. This act of courage causes her father to disown since his daughter just defied him and prevented him from robbing Valjean’s house.

Despite the heartbreak of Eponine’s love for Marius, she decides to join Marius on the barricade. In the stage version, Marius noticing that Eponine is there sends her away to deliver a letter to Cosette and he does that in order to protect her from the uprising. Eponine still returned to the barricade and that led to unfortunate circumstances. In the movie, seeing that Marius was about to get shot, she sacrificed her life for him. The wounds she received were fatal and she ended up dying in the arms of Marius. In fact, dying in Marius’ arms was the happiest time of her life. Marius was heartbroken over the fact that Eponine was dying, but he still stayed brave for her and still showed compassion in this moment.

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Jean Valjean showed courage as well. He showed courage after discovering that a man believed to be Valjean was going to be sent to jail. Valjean decided to intervene and prevented this man from being sent to prison. Valjean knows what it is like to be in prison and did want this man to face that same fate. He even showed courage after realizing that Cosette loves Marius. He learned that Marius is one of the student revolutionaries and went to the barricade to make sure Marius survives. When Marius falls unconscious, Valjean carried him to safety and the only way to escape was through the sewers.

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Crazy just how many characters from Les Mis showed courage. They risked their life in order to protect others. Both Eponine and Valjean risked their lives for Marius. Eponine did it out of love for Marius and Valjean did it out of love for Cosette. The students and Gavroche showed courage out of love for France. It seems that a lot of the characters in Les Mis show courage out of love for either a country or even someone else.

Even all the Newsies show courage. They decided to go on strike against Pultizer after he raised the price on papers. Even when they stopped work, they still stayed passionate towards their cause. This does led to a big fight, but even after that fight, they still stayed passionate about the strike, but does cause a lot of inner conflict in Jack.

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There is just something wonderful about musical characters who show courage. They can be admired. They teach you the importance of courage. In “Seize the Day” from Newsies, some of the lyrics are “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”.  Courageous characters show the importance of standing up for what you believe in. All of the characters who show courage is one important characteristic to a well-written character. All of the characters I talked about are characters that I love.

Heartbreak and Inspiration of Les Mis

A progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from bestiality to duty; from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. The starting point: matter, destination: the soul. The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end

-Victor Hugo

Yes, Les Mis again

The quote above just shows the tale of Les Mis and how the main character’s journey progresses from beginning to end.

The musical, Les Misérables, is one of the most successful musicals of all time. The tile literally means the miserable and can even mean the downtrodden, the outcasts, and the fugitives. The title literally gives away the fact that Les Mis is indeed a very heartbreaking musical. The musical takes place during early 19th century France starting in 1815 and ending up in 1832.

 It can be quite curious as to why such a heartbreaking musical is so successful. I do remember the first time I saw the movie, the moment I learned Les Mis was a tragedy, I was so confused and sort of lost. That time around, I saw the musical as too depressing. I didn’t know if I actually liked that movie or not when it finished. I didn’t know if I would give the movie a second chance or not.

Despite all the confusion, I still decided to research the musical and learn more about the book. I even started to listen to the songs more and discover more about them. After all of that, I did decide to watch the musical movie a second time. This time around, I truly knew there was something special about the musical. I was curious as to why so much heartbreak can actually make you feel uplifted in the end. 

In Les Mis, it is important not to view the musical as just a heartbreaking musical because it is way more than that. True, most of the scenes are sad and heartbreaking, but those scenes are incredible scenes to watch as a matter of fact. The story is one of misery, heartbreaking, suffering and death, but also a story of love, compassion, hope, sacrifice, forgiveness, humanity and redemption. In a lot of ways, the inspirational side of Les Mis does exist throughout the heartbreaking nature.

The heartbreaking and the inspirational nature of this musical both show up in the prologue. The very first scene, the negative emotions enter the picture and up until the bishop scene, we see Valjean being treated poorly by society. No one is given him a place to stay, a job, or even something to eat all because he was an ex-convict. All of those scenes are heartbreaking and we can feel the injustice that Valjean faces. But enter the bishop and he offers Valjean a place to sleep and food to eat. But Valjean does still steal some silver from the bishop out of desperation and he is caught. He is surprised that the bishop actually lies and tells the police that he gave Valjean the silver has a gift and gives Valjean two candlesticks. Valjean uses the lesson that bishop taught him throughout the rest of this journey. The moment the heartbreaking and the inspirational natures clash together, the two are inseparable.

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Possible Spoilers:

You see inspiration through Valjean helping the poor once he becomes mayor. There is something inspirational about Valjean rescuing a man who has fallen under his cart. There is even inspiration when Valjean learns that a man was falsely accused of being him and Valjean turns himself in. But Valjean truly shows compassion towards Fantine, a former worker at Valjean’s factory, who turns to prostitution after being fired. Valjean promises to Fantine on her deathbed that he will raise Cosette, Fantine’s daughter, as his own. So there is compassion shown during death scenes.

Another death scene where compassion is shown is through Eponine’s death scene. She has just retuned to the barricades (different circumstance in the movie) and gets caught in the crossfire and gets shot and unfortunately her wounds are fatal. She loves Marius, a revolutionary on the barricade, unrequitedly. The moment she climbs over the barricade, Marius has no clue that she is terribly hurt. But after she collapses in his arms, Marius knows what is going on. He is truly devastated, but ultimately shows her compassion by never leaving her side. Even though he thinks it is too soon for her to leave, he still stays brave for her.

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There is something hopeful about the students standing up against the government. They are so passionate about their cause. Up until Eponine’s death, the students feel like there is a chance they will win. But after Eponine died, the students realized that they are way outnumbered and feel hopeless. But they still fight hoping that others will stand up for what they believe in. Valjean arrives shortly after Eponine died and he shows mercy and forgiveness towards Javert after he releases him from the barricades even though he promised the students he will execute Javert.

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If I never found a spiritual side to Les Mis, I feel like I would be kind of tired of the musical by now. I love feeling hurt and heartbroken in this musical because I strongly care about the characters and strongly love the plot and strongly love how the show makes you feel. You can feel hope, compassion, forgiveness, love, joy, excitement, uplifted, sad, heartbreak, guilt, loneliness, anger, hopeless, fear, desperation, devastation, depressed,  and even uncomfortable and there are even more than that. To understand the success of Les Mis, you need to see beyond its heartbreaking nature.

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The reasons why I believe Les Mis is so successful because it has incredible and memorable characters, like the angered, harsh, hateful turned compassionate and saintlike Valjean, the strict and obsessive Javert, the loving and prostitute Fantine, the greedy, abusive and comical Thenardiers, the loving, brave, neglected and lonely Eponine, the revolutionary and romantic Marius, the kind and innocent Cosette, the passionate and hopeful, leader Enjolras, and the unloved and heroic Gavroche. In addition, I love the brilliance of the story, which is the tale of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict and his journey to redemption, which includes the love triangle of Eponine, Marius and Cosette, the student uprising (AKA June Rebellion of 1832), and the story of Fantine.

But ultimately, I think the biggest reason why Les Mis is so successful is due the emotional nature of the songs. They make you feel several emotions at such a deep level all the way to the deepest level of the Holy Spirit. This musical feel so realistic and feels like you can truly care about the characters. Even though it is heartbreaking, it has several topics found in Christianity like love, humanity, sacrifice,  compassion, forgiveness, hope, and redemption. Les Mis is the most powerful musical ever and its complexity changed my view on musicals and taught me the value of tragedy in the first place.

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Standing Up For What You Believe In

I think there’s a stigma that one person can’t help make a change in the world. But it has to start with someone

-Jennifer DiNoia (A actress who played Elphaba on Broadway)

If you think about it, this is so true about life. Some musical characters actually do help make a difference.

Possible Spoilers:

Musical characters like Elphaba, Jack Kelly and Enjolras do help make a change. Elphaba is passionate about fighting for equal rights for everyone in OZ including the animals. She breaks against the stigma that one can’t help with making a change in the world, but she decides to go a separate route than the one the Wizard plans to do. The Wizard’s plan causes more harm than good. He wants to strip the animals of their right and plans to use Elphaba to do the magic for him, but she goes against him because she knows that is not right. The Wizard wants to use the flying monkeys as spies to spy on the animals, but Elphaba would rather give them equal rights. Through this circumstance, Elphaba discovers a whole new purpose in life and this when she truly matures.

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Than there is Enjolras, the leader of the friends of the abc. He is the most passionate of all the rebels. He is the one that really brings them together to go up against the very weak government. Even when he realizes that they are most likely going to lose, he still knows that their standing up for they believe in will encourage others to stand up against the government as well. He and the other rebels are warned several times that they should just give up, but Enjolras just doesn’t listen to them.

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Sometimes it can take a whole group to stand up for what they believe in. That is the case for the Newsies, but it was Jack Kelly’s idea to have the strike. They form a union and strike against Pulitzer and Hearst. They never once give up and this does cause Jack some inner conflict in act two especially since at the end of act one, he sees Crutchie being taken away to the Refuge. Jack is almost ready to give up, which is clearly shown through his solo, Santa Fe. But through the help of Katherine and Davey, he finds the courage again to continue what he and his brothers started.

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So sometimes, you might think that you may not make a change in the world. But change has to start with someone. When someone stands up for what they believe in, it takes great courage. It can be scary to stand up for what you believe in, but that is change truly comes from. Standing up for what you believe in truly shows who you are and shows bravery.

 

Wrap-up of Les Mis Character Analysis

Major Spoilers:

For the past couple of days I have been analyzing the Les Mis characters. The ones I analyzed are Jean Valjean (protagonist), Javert (antagonist), Fantine, Cosette, Marius, Eponine, the Thenardiers, Enjolras, the students, and Gavroche. These memorable characters are one of the biggest reasons why this musical is so successful. These analysis’ shows how interlocked their lives are. It shows how they directly and indirectly they affect each others lives. They all belong in Les Mis because something no good happens to every single one of them. Most of them die by the end of Les Mis and the only survivors are Marius, Cosette, and the Thenardiers.

Below I will give a few adjectives to describe the characters. If I put an arrow, it shows if their personality changes.

Jean Valjean: bitter, harsh, angry> compassionate, merciful, forgiving

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Javert: obsessive, strict

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Fantine: loving, heartbreaking, tragic

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Cosette: broken>curious, romantic, considerate, hopeful

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Marius: revolutionary, romantic, compassionate, kind

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Eponine: spoiled> loving, lonely, neglected, unloved, brave, fearless

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Thenardiers: abusive, greedy, selfish, cruel, unloving

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Enjolras and students-passionate, brothers, Enjolras (leader)

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Gavroche: brave, heroic

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There is a reason why all of these characters are so loved. It is very hard to pick a favorite even though I love some more than others. As for the females, my favorite is Eponine and have no idea why. These characters are quite complex and you feel like you get to know them. They are so important and though most may die, most die not alone, but with somebody like Valjean being by Fantine’s side when she dies or Eponine dying in Marius’ arms.

What are your thoughts on the Les Mis characters

 

Analysis of Enjolras, the students, and Gavroche

Major Spoilers:

This is my last Les Mis character analysis.

-1832

This is when we first meet these characters. We first get introduced to both Gavroche, Marius, and Enjolras in “Look Down”. Marius and Enjolras are trying to rally up people to support their upcoming uprising. General Lamarque, the only person in the government that cares about the poor, is dying of cholera.

Enjolras is the leader of all the students and is also the most passionate about the cause. There are eight other main students, which includes Marius. They are basically like a group of brothers and their relationship is close. They basically take in Gavroche, a Thenardier and a street urchin.

As a bit of background about Gavroche, the first thing we discover about him is that he is a street urchin. In the book, you learn that he is in fact one of the Thenardier children. He was kicked out of the house at such a young age and never actually really had a family. The students become like Gavroche’s family in a way. He sort of becomes this mascot of the upcoming uprising. One scene that was fun reading about in the book was when Gavroche basically took in his two younger brothers without knowing they are related. His home is basically inside this elephant. Despite being a Thenardier, he still has some kind of compassion inside of him.

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Out of all the students, Marius appears to be the least passionate. He has fallen in love with Cosette and he now has two passions. All he seems to think about is Cosette and the students and Enjolras don’t think he really cares about the uprising.

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During “Red and Black”, the students are planning their uprising and they are very confidant that this uprising will be successful. But the true anthem of the revolutionary students is “Do You Hear the People Sing”. All of the songs the students sing are very passionate songs. Throughout “One Day More”, you become aware of how much passion Enjolras has for the uprising. Marius is conflicted weather he should fight in the uprising or be with Cosette. Ultimately he decides to fight and join his brothers.

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The next day, the students start to build their barricade and it appears as if they have a chance of actually winning. Eponine has in fact joined the revolutionaries out of love for Marius, but Marius sends her away with a letter to Cosette to protect her. Javert is also there and is only there to spy on the students and he agrees to spy on the government for them, but they cannot tell that he is an inspector.

The loud hailer does in fact warn the students that they in fact have no chance at the uprising, but they don’t listen and still strongly believe in the uprising. When Javert arrives, he does talk about their plans, but Gavroche sees through his disguise and tells the students who this spy really is.  Right after Javert is caught, Eponine returns to the barricades. She got shot fatally and dies in Marius’ arms. This scene does show the students what they are up against and they agree to fight in her name. They become so hopeless in this scene and they now realize that their chances of surviving are quite slim.

Valjean does arrive and spends some time with the students. He arrived in order to protect Marius and the students don’t trust him at first. They just think he is another spy just like Javert. But after the second attack, they know that Jean Valjean is on their side. During “Drink With Me”, you can just feel how hopeless they really feel and you also see how special their relationship is. There is line in this song that describes what is about come and Grantaire sings it. He says “Drink with me to days gone by. Can it be you fear to die? Will the world remember you when you fall? Could it be your death means nothing at all? Is your life just one more lie?”. This scene is quite sad actually and is actually sadder when you know how unsuccessful the uprising actually will be. They end up resting for the night and Valjean prays to God to save Marius from the uprising.

The next day, the students have run low on ammunition and they need someone to climb over the barricade to collect more. Gavroche, despite being a kid, climbs over and he dies in the attempt. This scene actually shows how heroic and brave Gavroche is. The Thenardier children are the first two characters to die at the barricade. The loud hailer warns the students once again and despite feeling hopeless, the students are in fact still passionate about their cause. Enjolras and the students agree to still attack and sadly all of them, but Marius, lost their lives. Enjolras, as a matter of fact, has the most heartbreaking death out of all the students.

I love all of these characters due to how passionate they are about this cause. It was important that they all lost their lives because the June Rebellion of 1832 was actually that unsuccessful. I love how much of a strong leader Enjolras is. Enjolras and Marius are close friends and as a matter of fact, all of the students have an amazing relationship.

Tomorrow’s post is a wrap-up of these analysis’

 

Analysis of Marius

This post is mainly dealing with musical Marius, but might add some facts about book Marius as well.

Major Spoilers:

We first meet Marius in 1832. The very first we learn about him is that he is this young, revolutionary student, who is rallying people to support the upcoming uprising. In the book, he has a political struggle with his grandfather. His grandfather raised Marius because Marius’ father has different political views than his grandfather. Marius believes that his father does not even love him, but he soon learns that his father did love him and that has Marius look up more about the political person that his father supports. He leaves his grandfather and decides to live a life of poverty and does not want help from his grandfather even if his grandfather sends him money.

He is close friends with Enjolras, the leader of the uprising. Marius is a law student and also a romantic. One day he bumps into Cosette and instantly falls in love with her despite the fact that Eponine is in love with Marius. Marius has a close relationship to Eponine and is completely oblivious to Eponine’s feelings for him. Falling in love with Cosette has Marius struggle between the cause he believes in and the love of his life.

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He does ask Eponine to help find Cosette for him because he knows she is streetwise due to being involved in her father’s schemes. Marius still cannot figure out that Eponine loves him. As a matter of fact, Marius is the only person in Eponine’s life who ever shows her kindness. Marius is quite a sweet and nice person despite how oblivious he is to Eponine’s love.

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A lot for what Marius does is either for the sake of Cosette or for the sake of the cause that he believes in. He eventually is able to confess his love to Cosette after Eponine shows him Cosette’s house. Thenardier tries to rob Valjean’s house while Marius and Cosette are confessing their love for each other. Eponine, Thenardier’s daughter, alerts Valjean of the danger. Marius thanks for preventing the robbery and introduces her to Cosette. He discovers that Cosette and her father are about to leave for London. Marius is conflicted on whether or not he should become a part of the rebellion due to his love for Cosette. Marius does decide to get involved in the rebellion with his friends.

At the beginning of Act two, Marius notices that Eponine has joined the revolutionaries. In order to protect her, he asks her to deliver a letter to Cosette. Marius does not want her to return to the barricades because he does not want her to get hurt. But Eponine still returns to the barricades.

While climbing over, she gets caught in the crossfire and as a consequence she gets fatally wounded. Marius automatically asks her if she saw Cosette without realizing that she is terribly wounded, but that’s because Eponine was trying to cover up her wound. But once she collapses in Marius’ arms, he finally realized how hurt Eponine truly is. This completely devastates Marius and he does not want her to die, but he decides to be compassionate and stay brave for her. He does not leave her side and offers her comfort. Eponine finally learns that she did mean something to Marius. Marius views Eponine as a friend and does love her, but not in the romantic sense.

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Valjean arrives at the barricades in order to protect Marius because his daughter loves him. At the time of “Drink With Me”, Marius is still devastated about Eponine’s death. All of the students feel completely hopeless during this scene. They saw what they were up against at the time of Eponine’s death and knew they were outnumbered and knew that they most likely going to die.

Valjean is worried that Marius will not survive the night and prays to God to save him. The next day during the final battle, Marius gets seriously wounded and falls unconscious and Valjean carries Marius through the sewers in order to save Marius’ life and takes him back to his grandfather’s. Marius has lost all of his friends at the barricade including Eponine. It takes Marius several months to recover and the events that happened at the barricade matured Marius. He does go through survivor’s guilt and wishes that he died as well even though he still has Cosette.

Marius and Cosette do eventually get married. This when the Thenardiers try to scam Marius out of money. He learns during this scene that Valjean saved his life at the barricades and Marius take Cosette to see Valjean. Too late because Valjean is dying, but he got to die with Marius and Cosette by his side. At the end, Marius and Cosette have lost everything expect for each other.

Marius gets a lot of hate by Les Mis fans. They call him a jerk just because he stays oblivious to Eponine’s feelings for him and does not realize that she loved him until her death. But I don’t think Marius ever treated Eponine like that. He was the only person who even showed Eponine any sort of kindness. People think that Marius and Cosette have their happily ever after, but in reality not really. Cosette had a terrible childhood and later her father dies. Marius faced a lot of trauma at the barricade because we watched all of his friends die. Marius is in fact capable of compassion, which is especially shown during Eponine’s death. He stays with her even though he is devastated.

He always showed Eponine kindness. Marius is not even a jerk at all and it is unfair to call him that because he does not know Eponine loves him. But Eponine never told him her feelings for him until the time of her death. I think Marius and Cosette make a lovely couple and of the characters who survive, Marius and Cosette are my favorite characters.

Part of what Marius is based off is young Victor Hugo. A big reason why I love Marius and Cosette together is because their relationship is based off of young Victor Hugo and his first love.

The next analysis is for Eponine Thenardier.