Musical Families: Round Two

Once upon a time on this blog, I talked about musical families. I talked about only loving families. But on this post, my focus will be on all musical families. Some of these families are biological families and some of these families were created either by adoption or a group of friends formed a family.

Possible Spoilers

The first family I want to talk about is the Thenardier Family. The Thenardier family is defiantly not a loving family due to just how abusive and neglectful this family is. In the musical, it consists of Monseiur and Madame Thenardier, Gavroche and Eponine.

You first get to know them through Young Cosette. At the time, Cosette is eight and you notice that the Thenardiers are in fact quite abusive due to just how poorly they treat Young Cosette and that is shown through “Castle on a Cloud”. They even treat her like a servant and they have scammed Fantine out of money and use it to spoil their daughter, Eponine. Just through how they treat Cosette says a lot about the Thenardiers. I read in the book that if Cosette wasn’t there, they would have abused their own children. Following her parent’s lead, Eponine also poorly treats Cosette. Throughout “Master of the House”, you learn that the Thenardiers are in fact pickpockets. Through those two songs, you get an idea of the environment Eponine is going to be growing up in.

However, Jean Valjean eventually comes for Cosette. The sad truth about that is that while Cosette is rescued, Eponine is stuck with the Thenardiers for the rest of her life. They actually kicked Gavroche out of their house and that in a way shows just how unloving the Thenardiers are. When it comes to Eponine, they give her the same treatment that Cosette got. Right after Cosette got rescued, the Thenardiers’ inn goes bankrupt and the family falls into extreme poverty.

Not only do they horribly abuse Eponine, but they teach her the ways of being a criminal. She actually is involved in her father’s schemes by being a watchdog for the law. Eponine no longer is living in a loving family and she is all alone in the world. She lives in such a dark world and she is all alone and not a lot of good things happen in her life No one shows her an once of kindness in her life.

The only person who treated her kindly was Marius and that was why she fell in love with Marius and why she loves him so deeply. Even though Marius loves Cosette, all she cares about is to make sure he is happy even if it means losing him forever. If Marius never entered Eponine’s life, her life would be so much darker and there would be no light.

Despite the fact that the Thenardiers are so unloving, I believe this family is a memorable one. The Thenardiers are the comic relief in this musical and good thing they do because it is much needed. There is importance behind the fact that both Gavroche and Eponine are the children of the Thenardiers. The Thenardiers are defiantly some of the worst parents ever in literature. They are quite despicable, greedy, abusive, selfish, neglectful and unloving and do not even love or care about their children. Even when Garvroche and Eponine are killed during the uprising, they just do not care that their children died.

Another musical family is the Von Trapp family. Unlike the Thenardier family, this family is loving. The Captain may be strict with the children, but he is still loving towards them. When Maria becomes governess there, she brought happiness back to his house by teaching his seven children to sing. Eventually the Captain and Maria fell in love and they get married. This was one of the earliest families to enter my life since I have loved Sound of Music since elementary school.

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In Annie, a family is created as the show continues. Daddy Warbucks wants an orphan to stay in his home for a week over the holidays (Fourth of July in the movie and Christmas in the stage show). Daddy Warbucks wanted a boy to stay there, but he ended up with Annie. Through the course of her stay, Daddy Warbucks falls in love with Annie and eventually adopts her. Just like Sound of Music, this family has been part of my life for just as long.

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Another family found in Les Mis is the one between Young Cosette and Jean Valjean. As Fantine is dying, she is still desperate for the care of Cosette. Through an act of compassion, Jean Valjean agrees to raise Cosette as his own. After discovering Cosette in the woods, he almost immediately falls in love with her as his daughter. He realizes just how poorly Cosette’s life has been. Both Cosette and Jean Valjean are broken on the inside and through their love for each other, they are eventually healed. But there are challenges with raising Cosette. Since Valjean is an ex-convict, he is always on the run from Javert and he has to protect and shelter Cosette so often because whenever he is out, he is always in danger of being caught by Javert.

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Another Les Mis family belong to the Enjolras and the students. This is an example of friends who form a family. They have such a brotherly love for each other. Enjolras is the leader of the group and the most passionate about their cause. They plan a rebellion in the streets in response to an unstable government. They basically take in Gavroche and Gavroche ends up with family through them. Even though he is just a boy, he still helps out at the barricade.

Very similar to the students of Les Mis, the Newsies create a very similar family. Jack Kelly is the leader of the Newsies and has a special bond to Crutchie. A lot of them are orphans, runaways, or homeless, but all they have is each other. They are so close and stand up for what they believe in. Newsies is the newest family of the musicals I love.

Another friendship family is found among the characters in Rent. Many of them are starving artists and are poor. They live in the fact of fear due to the stigma surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mimi, Roger, Collins, and Angel are HIV positive. The other characters found in this family are Joeanne, Maureen, and Mark. These characters have a very close bond. They live their lives in love and despite relationship struggles at times, they still stay quite connected.

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One family that is quite important is my family. If it wasn’t for my parents, I may not be a musical fan at all. They took my sister and I to see musicals growing up both live and in the movie theatre. Seeing musicals starting in elementary school were essential to my musical journey. I saw musicals such as Cats, Beauty the Beast, Lion King, Annie, and Sound of Music back in elementary school. My mom took me to see Wicked when I was 12 in New York. Even today, my family takes me to the theatre to see musicals. I have special memories of my family and musicals.

Wicked was not the only theatre date I had with my mom. She also took me to see Pippin, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Mis and due to those being a mother/daughter date, it added to just how special all those trips were. I actually did see Wicked with my dad when I saw the musical for the third time and I remember my dad giving me the better seat even though he had never seen it. The tallest guy in the auditorium sat in front of me and dad switched places with me. I wouldn’t have been exposed to musicals in the first place if they didn’t take me in the beginning.

Below is a link to my first musical post I wrote about families. It has all the families I talked about except for the Thenardier family. That was because my first post belonged to the loving families

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/importance-of-family-in-musicals/

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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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 the Thenardiers

Major Spoilers:

The Thenardiers are the true villains of Les Mis.

-1823

At the time, Cosette is lodging with the Thenardiers. At this point in the storyline, they are horribly abusing Cosette especially Madame Thenardier. The Thenardiers are scamming Fantine , Cosette’s mother, of money and lying to her and saying that Cosette is seriously ill. This basically shows how selfish and greedy the Thenardiers are.They appeared to love their daughter, Eponine and they use the money Fantine sends to spoil her. During the whole “Master of the House” scene, we learn that they are in fact pickpockets. During both “Castle on a Could” and “Master of the House”, we get an idea of the environment that Eponine is going to be growing up in.  Later Valjean arrives at the Thenardiers’ inn to take Cosette away from the Thenardiers’ and know that they are horribly abusing the little girl and they are basically lying to Valjean during the Bargain. Soon after Cosette was taken away, the Thenardiers’ inn became bankrupt and the family falls into extreme poverty

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-1832

Years have passed and the Thenardiers have been treating Eponine even worse. Eponine stopped living in a loving family soon after Cosette was taken away. They horribly started abusing Eponine and she become the unloved, abused, and neglected teenager. They use their daughter to their advantage. The basically drag Eponine into the criminal world and she becomes involved in her father’s schemes. She becomes the lookout for the law and warns her parents of when Javert shows up. The Thenardiers’ just do not love Eponine.

They even treat their son, Gavroche, poorly. He was kicked out of the house at such a young age. Monsieur Thenardier tries to rob Valjean during the attack at Rue Plumet and Eponine, despite being a Thenardier, prevents her father from robbing them. What makes matters even worse, both Gavroche and Eponine are killed during the uprising in act two and the Thenardiers don’t even care.They only care about themselves and later they even try to scam Marius out of money and try to make him believe that Valjean murdered a man. But that was how Marius learned that Valjean saved him at the barricades.

The Thenardiers are the most selfish, greedy, abusive characters ever in Les Mis. I have this love/hate relationship with them. I love them because they provide the much-needed comic relief and because I love their children, Gavroche and Eponine. I hate them due to how abusive, selfish, and greedy they are. They don’t even care or even love their children. They are terrible parents, but in my opinion, it is important that Gavroche and Eponine are part of the Thenardier family. It shows that even in your family, you can raise above your upbringing. You can be raised by people like them and still spark some kind of goodness, which is clearly shown through both Gavroche and Eponine.

Tomorrow’s analysis is for Enjolras, the students, and Gavroche.

Analysis of Eponine

Major Spoilers:

Eponine is a character I have a special love for.

-1823

We first meet Eponine at the Thenardiers’ inn. The Thenardiers, who Cosette is lodging with, are Eponine’s parents. At the time the Thenardiers horribly abuse young Cosette while spoiling their daughter, Eponine. Eponine appears to be living in a loving family. The money that the Thenardiers receive from Fantine is used to spoil Eponine and is used to help the inn. At the time, their inn is in danger of going bankrupt. In the next scene, we learn that the Thenardiers are in fact pickpockets and we start to get an idea of the kind of environment Eponine is going to be growing up in. Soon after Valjean takes Cosette away, Eponine starts becoming horribly abused, neglected, lonely, and unloved.

-1832

This is when we start to get to know Eponine the most. The Thenardier family has become bankrupt and they are living in extreme poverty. They basically dragged Eponine into the criminal world and Eponine’s life has become even worse. In addition, Eponine has fallen in love with Marius unrequitedly. It becomes clear during the Robbery that Eponine does not want to  get involved in her family’s schemes even though she is a Thenardier. She would rather be faithful to Marius than being involved with the schemes that her father and his gang are involved in.

For some reason, Eponine has not fully developed her parent’s ways, which might have something to do with Marius. Eponine is quite brave and despite being a Thenardier, she still is able to fall in love. She has never received love from anyone. In one scene, Eponine realizes that Marius has fallen in love with Cosette and that is where this love triangle comes from.

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Eponine realizes that her life and Cosette’s life have literally switched places. She remembers Cosette. She realizes how much better Cosette’s life has become. Cosette is living in a loving family and is not living in extreme poverty. But with Eponine, she is living in extreme poverty and was dragged into the criminal world by her family. Cosette has fallen in love with Marius and Marius has fallen in love with Cosette. The switch that happened between Cosette and Eponine is very intriguing.  It is one of the most interesting parts of Les Mis.

Marius does in fact ask Eponine to find Cosette for him because he knows she is streetwise due to her family’s schemes. She reluctantly agrees because she realizes it will make him happy. Throughout her entire story, everything she does is for Marius and it becomes clear how much she loves Marius despite the fact that Marius doesn’t love her. She risks her life several times for Marius.

Another time she does a favor for Marius is during the Attack at Rue Plumet. Marius and Cosette have just confessed their love for each other and Thenardier and his gang arrive and try to rob Valjean’s house. Out of love for Marius, Eponine stands up against her father and screams to alert Valjean. At this point, Thenardier basically disowns his daughter. Eponine is basically left to fend for herself on the streets. There is more to Eponine’s life than the unrequited love for Marius.

Considering how much she loves Marius, she disguises herself as a boy to join the revolutionaries at the barricades in order to assist Marius. Marius recognizes her and sends her away with a letter to Cosette. Eponine still cannot believe that Marius still cannot see that she loves him. In “On My Own”, it becomes clear to Eponine that Marius will never love her and she finally accepts the situation that she is currently in.

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Previously (stage show), Valjean has warned Eponine not to return to the barricades, but she doesn’t listen. She returns just to tell Marius she did the favor for him. But as a consequence, she gets caught in the crossfire and becomes fatally wounded herself. Despite knowing that she is dying, she still has the strength to climb down the barricades to find Marius.

The first thing Marius asks is if she saw Cosette and this might seem like Marius is being a jerk to her, but he really isn’t. He has no clue that Eponine is dying from a gunshot wound especially because Eponine is hiding it from him. He soon finds out after she collapses in his arms. Marius tries to get help, but Eponine stops him. Eponine would rather die in Marius’ arms than die when it comes to the law. She is just happy that Marius is there. Marius is literally the only person in her life that has ever showed her kindness.

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Marius is devastated that Eponine is dying because she means a lot to him and sees her as this little sister in a way. He thinks it is too soon for her to leave, but he decides to be compassionate to her till she dies. He offers her peace and comfort and stays brave for her till the end. Even Marius knew how dark and horrible her life truly was. After she dies, the first thing Marius says to the students is “Her name was Eponine. Her life was cold and dark, yet she was unafraid”. That shows how brave and fearless Eponine is despite how horrible her life was. The students decide to fight in her name because she was the first to die on the barricade.

Eponine is quite an interesting character. There are two things that are key to Eponine’s character. The first is that she belongs to the Thenardier family and the second is her love for Marius. You would think she would grow up to be just her parents, which means to be selfish, greedy, and to even want to be involved in a life of thieving. But Eponine knows that her parent’s way of living is not right. That is one of the most interesting parts about Eponine is how she does not become like her parents and that is quite a miracle. I still think that has something to do with Marius. I think Eponine loves Marius so much because of the kindness that he shows her. He is the only person who does offer her kindness even though he doesn’t love her romantically, but he loves her like a friend.

She chooses to be faithful to Marius and that drives all of her actions in Les Mis, which might seem like one of her weaknesses, but in reality it actually is a strength. Her love for Marius is what keeps her thriving even though it eventually leads to her death on the barricades.

As a matter of fact, dying in Marius’ arms is the happiest moment of life. I don’t know why, but Eponine’s death is my favorite death scene in all of Les Mis. There is something special about “A Little Fall of Rain” and I feel devastated that one of my favorite characters is dying, but I also feel happy because I am seeing Eponine happy for once in her brief life. You do feel bad for Marius during that scene as well.

Next analysis is for the Thenardiers, Eponine’s parents.

Analysis of Cosette

Major Spoilers

Cosette is Fantine’s daughter and later becomes Valjean’s adopted daughter.

-1823

We first learn about Cosette through Fantine. Fantine had to leave her daughter into the hands of the Thenardiers. Little did she know how poorly the Thenardiers would treat Cosette. The Thenardiers make Fantine believe that her daughter is seriously ill just to make money. The Thenardiers horribly abuse Cosette and treat her like a servant. Cosette is especially scared of Madame Thenardier. Cosette hopes for a better life and through “Castle on a Cloud”, we learn she gets through the abuse through fantasies that she creates. The money that Fantine sends for Cosette is used to spoil the Thenardiers’ daughter, Eponine. Following her parent’s lead, Eponine treats Cosette poorly as well. The Thenardiers force Cosette to collect water late at night, which terrifies Cosette.

On Christmas Eve, Valjean meets Cosette for the first time. It was during one of those times when the Thenardiers sent Cosette into the woods to collect water from the well. Cosette is eight at the time and Valjean cannot believe that this is the little girl that he was looking for. A couple scenes back, Valjean promises to her dying mother that he would raise Cosette as his daughter. Valjean learns the truth about Cosette and cannot believe the abuse that Cosette had to face. Cosette was scared of Valjean at first, but later learns to trust him as they walk back to the Thenardiers’ inn.

Valjean had to buy Cosette away from the Thenardiers, but they try to make Valjean believe that Cosette is in good hands with them, but Valjean knows the truth. Cosette finally gets the freedom she wants and Valjean becomes a loving father to her. Both Valjean and Cosette are both broken and have never found love before and they help heal each other.

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-1832

Nine years pass and Cosette becomes this seventeen year old teenager. She is living with a loving father. Cosette is very protective and sheltered, which makes sense because Valjean is always on the run from Javert. This makes raising Cosette quite difficult at times. One day in the street, a law student named Marius bumps into Cosette and automatically falls in love with her and the same thing happens to her. Eponine is also in love with Marius and she is now living in extreme poverty and has become a part of the criminal world.

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The two girls lives have literally switched places. Cosette is quite curious and demands to know the past of her adopted father and her mother, but Valjean is not willing to tell her. She is even charitable, which she learned through Valjean. There is not much to her at this point in the story, but she is still an incredible character. The relationship between Valjean and Cosette is quite special. They found happiness for the first time through each other. Cosette was horribly abused as a child and Valjean faced hard labor in prison. They both have gone through some kind of trauma and through their relationship, they found some kind of happiness.

Eventually Marius find Cosette again because Eponine found the address for him. The two lovers confess their love for each other as Eponine watches in the background. At this point, the Thenardiers try to rob Valjean’s house, but Eponine screams to warn Valjean and Valjean believes that Javert has found him so he tells Cosette that they are leaving for England. Cosette does not want to leave due to her love for Marius, but even Valjean does not know that she loves Marius.

Valjean does learn that Cosette is in love with Marius in the second act after Eponine delivers a note from Marius to Cosette. Valjean heads to the barricades to protect Marius due to how much he loves Cosette. After Marius becomes seriously injured, Valjean takes Marius to his grandfather’s house. While Marius is recovering, Cosette helps take care of him. Later Cosette’s adopted father dies and all Marius and Cosette have is each other. Even though they both have happier fates than a lot of the other characters, they still have faced lots of trauma in their lives: Cosette as child and Marius watching all of his friends die.

Lots of Les Mis fans dislike Cosette just because she fall in love with Marius and because she does not have much depth to her. True Cosette is kind of one dimensional when she becomes a teenager. But there is no need to dislike Cosette because she loves Marius and because Marius loves Cosette. There is nothing wrong with the love triangle between Marius, Cosette, and Eponine. People feel like Marius and Cosette should never have become a couple in the first place and that Marius should be with Eponine. I believe that Marius and Cosette is a wonderful pairing and as a matter of fact, that relationship is based off young Victor Hugo and his first love. That is one big reason why I love Marius and Cosette together. True people might think that Valjean shelters and protects Cosette too much, but Valjean was an ex-convict on the run. So many people tend to forget about young Cosette.

There is a reason why Cosette is the logo of Les Mis. She played such a big part of Valjean’s life and she even connects to the other character’s storylines as well. She is Fantine’s daughter, involved in a love triangle with Eponine and Marius, Marius is one of the revolutionaries, used to live with the Thenardiers and because she is Valjean’s adopted daughter, she connect to Javert’s storyline because they are always on the run from Javert. Cosette represents hope and light in this tragic tale and Victor Hugo compares her to a lark. I like Cosette as a character even though she is not as developed as many of the other characters.

Next post is for Marius

Beyond the Barricade

Major Spoilers

By the end of Les Mis, all my favorite characters have died. The only survivors are Marius, Cosette, and the Thenardiers. I thought it would be interesting to see which of these surviving characters is my favorite. Between all four, Marius is my favorite and I know I am in the minority on this. Lots of people dislike him just because he is oblivious to Eponine’s unrequited feelings for him and that he doesn’t love her. Don’t forget you can’t choose who you fall in love with. This love triangle in fact provides an amazing texture to the musical.

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The thing I love about Marius is the compassion and love that he is capable of. I even love how he matures after the trauma he faced on the barricade. We first meet him when time changes to 1832 and he discover that he has a passion for the uprising and is trying to rally supporters from the streets of Paris. During that same scene, Marius bumps into Cosette and is instantly in love with her. He struggles with balancing between these two passions and all he ever seems to sing about is Cosette. Knowing that Eponine is so streetwise, he ask her to find Cosette’s address and Eponine is reluctant because she loves him. This might seem like Marius is being a jerk to Eponine, but in reality he really isn’t.

If you actually think about it, Marius never treated Eponine poorly. Marius is probably the only person in her life that shows her any kindness. To Eponine, Marius means a lot because he is the only source of light in her dark and miserable life. Everyone thinks Marius and Eponine should be together, but I don’t believe they should. I don’t think Les Mis would be the same if Eponine ended up with Marius in the end.

In the musical, Eponine and Marius are shown as friends and he also is aware of how dark her life is, but is aware of her toughness and bravery. You might also think he is a jerk just because he is oblivious to Eponine’s feelings for him, but lets not forget that she never told him she loved him.

Then there is the scene at the beginning of act two. He once again asks Eponine to do an errand for him, which once again is dealing with Cosette. He asks Eponine to deliver a letter to Cosette and that might seem rude as well, but it really isn’t. He only was trying to protect her from the uprising. Eponine does not listen to Marius and returns to the barricades and gets caught in the crossfire and gets fatally wounded herself. This is when Marius shows her the most compassion. When Marius realizes that she is fatally wounded, he never leaves her side and gives her peace and comfort till her death. This does devastate Marius, but at least he does care about Eponine and that she does mean something to him.

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Marius faces even more trauma at the barricades after all of his friends died and he almost got killed himself. Luckily Jean Valjean was there because Valjean rescued Marius. Marius heals from his wounds and he suffered from survivor’s guilt. Cosette helped him recover from his wounds. At the end of the show, Marius and Cosette have lost everything important to them except for each other. Cosette’s adopted father died and Marius’ friends died. I love Marius and Cosette together and they both have faced trauma in their life and they are still young. They ended up married and the reason why I love them together is due to the fact that Cosette is supposed to represent hope and light in the midst of this tragic tale.

Of the characters who live, who is your favorite Les Mis character?