What Caused Me to Love Classical Literature?

Well, as some may know that this summer I am reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. But what exactly is about the classics that makes me love them so much. I feel like part of the answer starts from how I was raised.

Well, I was raised watching A Christmas Carol every Christmas Break. So I was already exposed to at least one classic as a child. I learned to fall in love with the story early on so I think that is a big reason why I love the classics now.

But I honestly think a big reason why I love the classic might mostly have to do with Les Misérables. Yes, this list is talking about classical literature, but it is important to talk about the musical of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Well, in December of 2012 my parents took me to the movie adaptation and little did I know that the musical was about to really change and impact my life in such a positive way.  The first time I saw the movie, I had no clue how to respond. I was confused and shocked when I realized it was a tragedy, which was figured out after the first death. As a result, I did not how to respond so due to that I had no clue if I liked the movie or not.

Despite that, I still started researching information about Victor Hugo and the musical. I soon decided that I just had to see the movie a second time. That was how I realized there was something special about the tragedy. I really wanted to know why it uplifts me in such a positive way despite all of the heartbreak I just felt. So I dug even deeper into the musical. I realized that it was a story of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption.

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So I eventually decided that I just had to read the novel. I started with the abridged version. I enjoyed it that round, but felt like something was absolutely missing.  So I told myself that I needed to read the book again, but in the unabridged version. So when I read the unabridged version summer of 2015, I read the unabridged version and I did not skip over anything. The book truly felt like a masterpiece and the spirituality of the story was clearly shown. If it wasn’t for the spirituality of the story, I feel like I would be sick and tried of it by now. What was helpful in reading this book was my knowledge of the musical. Due to that, I could mark up major character and write in songs.

Due to loving Les Mis, my dad recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. So Les Mis led me to having the interest to read another classic. I read it and really enjoyed it. It was confusing at times because it was hard to tell if you were in France or in England. I enjoyed it, but couldn’t think of the reason why. It takes place during the French Revolution, which happens right before the events before Les Mis.

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Since Les Mis led to Tale of Two Cities, it also in a way led to Great Expectation. Because i learned to love Tale of Two Cities, the second Dickens story I fell in love with, I was recommended to read Great Expectations. I loved the character of Pip in Great Expectations and never could understand why I loved him. So Les Mis was essential to my love of the classics. If it wasn’t for Les Mis, I wouldn’t have wanted to read other Dickens books. I read Great Expectations Christmas of 2016. I wanted to review it on this blog, but couldn’t figure out why I enjoyed that book. The last Dickens book I was recommend is Nicholas Nickleby.

My dad also recommend me to check out Don Quixote. Les Mis did not lead me to Don Quixote, but led me to wanting to explore other classics. For a Spanish project at school, I choose Don Quixote to research since my dad recommended it to me. The moment I saw that Don Quixote was a tragicomic character, I knew I had to read the book. I loved the story of the knight errant righting all wrongs and the relationship to his squire. Well the school project did lead me to watching Man of La Mancha, the musical based off of Don Quixote. I actually read the book Summer of 2016 and I actually found it harder to read than Les Mis even though it was much shorter. That is due to hardly knowing Don Quixote at the time.

Now I am currently reading Oliver Twist, which I started last Saturday. I currently read close to 200 pages. I am loving the book as a matter of fact. I am especially fond of the character of Oliver. Last Christmas, I was going to read what classic I got. I asked for Oliver Twist or Hunchback of Notre Dame. What book I got would be the book I would read this summer and the other one would wait until Christmas. Dickens and Hugo have incredible parallels in their storylines, which I will talk about in another upcoming post of mine. After I finish Oliver Twist if I can come up with enough reasons why I loved it, I will review it.

So in a nutshell, A Christmas Carol did in a way shape my love for the classics since it was the first one I was exposed to. But Les Mis really brought out my love for the classics. I feel like I love the classics due to how challenging they are. All of them also seem to be well written. I read the classics in between semesters because I am able to find time to read them and focus on them. I feel like I might need to read some of the classics one more time, but in a longer amount of time. Les Mis and Christmas Carol were essential to falling in love with the classics.

What are your feelings on the classics?

Victor Hugo and Les Misérables

If the radical is the idea, yes, I am a radical…A society which admits poverty, a religion which admits hell, a humanity which sanctions war, seem to me an inferior society, an inferior religion and humanity, and it towards the higher society, the higher humanity and religion that I turn: society without a king, humanity without frontiers, religion without a book…I condemn slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred. That is what I am, and that is why I have written Les Misérables

-Victor Hugo

This a quote written by Victor Hugo, the author of the masterpieces, Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables. This quote explains why Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables. Victor Hugo lived during a very rough time period in France. It was post French Revolution and France was still recovering from the aftermath. Multiple rebellions happened, a weak government existed, women weren’t being treated fairly, and misery seemed to exist all the time. Victor Hugo noticed all of this and his book helps show just how bad France was at the time. Much of his book is based off of things that Victor Hugo observed and some characters were created off of that.

He wrote Les Mis to show light in the midst of darkness. That book is a tragedy covered with darkness but with a beautiful spirituality that helps guide the book. The heartbreaking and the inspirational natures are wonderfully interlocked together. Victor Hugo based Fantine after a prostitute he saw being harassed by an abusive customer and he intervened to prevent her from being arrested and he began to wonder if she had a child and that was how he created Fantine. He observed part of the June Rebellion of 1832 and he  included the rebellion in the book. His book shows the worst and the best of society at the time period.

The Thenardiers represent the very worst of society because of how abusive, unloving, cruel, selfish, and greedy they were and there was no redeeming factor in them. They treated their five children unfairly. Their children were Eponine, Azelma, Gavroche, and two unnamed younger brothers. They raised Eponine and Azelma and kicked out the rest of their children. They terribly abused Young Cosette during the time she lived with them, but she was rescued by Jean Valjean. They raised their daughters, Eponine and Azelma to be criminals and taught them how to lie and to steal and to be cruel towards others. The abuse they used on Cosette was used on both Eponine and Azelma. I cannot imagine what must have been like for the Thenardiers’ daughters.

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Despite all of the abuse, Eponine was brave despite feeling neglected and lonely and she never knew what it felt to be loved by someone else. The only source of light in her life was Marius, but he could never be hers.

Cosette represents hope and light and was raised by a loving father. Eponine is not quite as greedy or selfish as her parents, but sometimes she does act in destructive ways due to jealously. I think it was important that Eponine was a Thenardier and she does raise above her upbringing in both the book and musical. Even though Eponine was killed at the barricades, her parents didn’t seem to care that both her and Gavroche didn’t survive the uprising.

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The Thenardiers do represent the very worst of humanity, but there are those that represent the very best of humanity. The bishop for instance represents that. The bishop gave Valjean a second chance in life. The bishop gave Valjean a place to sleep, food to eat and treated him with compassion and kindness. Even when Valjean stole the bishop’s silver, the bishop forgave Valjean and gave the silver to Vavljean as gift. Valjean lived by the bishop’s example throughout the rest of the book. He showed compassion towards the poor especially towards Fantine and rescued the broken Cosette from the hands of the evil Thenardiers. When a man was falsely accused of being Valjean, Valjean turned himself in and confessed his real identity. He rescued Marius at the barricade for the sake of his daughter.

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Les Mis represents humanity as a whole and is truly about the survival of the human spirit. Victor Hugo knew that as long as poverty, ignorance, and misery exist, his book will always be relevant. The musical stays very faithful to the book despite some differences in the characters. For instance, Eponine and Marius are only just acquaintances  in the book, but in the musical they are portrayed as friends. Les Mis is still universal because poverty,  misery and ignorance still exist, but at the same time, sacrifice, hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption still exist on the face of this earth. I understand the success of Les Mis. It is extremely powerful and filled with several emotions. It knows how to strongly emotionally connect you.

Universal World of Les Misérables

So as long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century-the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light-are unsolved; as long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world-in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables cannot fail to be of use

-Preface of Les Misérables

The quote above is from the preface of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables. The quote perfectly shows how universal his book is. It is so true that as long as poverty and injustice exists, the book will stay universal. The storyline feels so human and the length of the book is also what makes it such a masterpiece.There is a reason why this book is a classic and why it has become so successful. The book even was turned into a musical, which followed the book’s footsteps of success.

The songs, plot, and character are brilliant and all three are well-crafted together and the songs know how to capture the extreme power and emotion of the characters and storylines. “Les Mis” takes you on an extreme, inspirational and powerful journey. It does make you feel heartbroken and hurt several times, but hope, compassion, love, and forgiveness is always there. Even though the storyline is so tragic, it is still an inspirational musical. You learn to truly care about every single one of the characters even the ones you do not like.

There is a reason why the musical evokes such a powerful, personal, deep, epic, and emotional response in people. It is such a soulful and emotional musical and is highly universal. It has themes that resonate with people that are still shown in society today. One of the biggest themes Les Mis has is love itself, which is shown in many different forms. There is love for a child, love for a parent, love for friends, love for a country, romantic love: both requited and unrequited, and there is also the love for the musical itself. These different forms of love show why the quote, “to love another person is to see the face of God” represents the musical so well.

It has this wonderful batch of characters. It has the ex-convict, Jean Valjean and his journey of becoming a better person and his path to redemption. It has the obsessive policeman, Javert, who is trying to recapture Valjean after breaking parole. It has the tragic Fantine, who will do anything for her daughter, Cosette. Cosette represents light and hope in the midst of tragedy and falls in love with Marius. It has the revolutionary student, Marius, who falls in love with Cosette. It has the brave and lonely Eponine, who falls in love with Marius unrequitedly and who will do anything for the one she loves. It has the funny, but abusive Thenardiers, who are the characters you learn to love to hate and hate to love. It has the passionate Enjolras, the leader of the uprising, and the other members of the friends of the abc. It has the heroic and unloved Gavroche, who spends time with the students. It has all of these wonderful characters who have very different journeys and whose stories wonderfully connect to each other.

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Jean Valjean

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Javert

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Fantine

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Marius, Cosette, Eponine

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Enjolras and Students

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Gavroche

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Thenardiers

The songs in Les Mis wonderfully reflect the storyline. It evokes such a wonderful response in people. The songs have so much depth, insight, and truth along with power and strength. The musical is entirely sung-through and the songs reflect the incredible brilliance of Victor Hugo’s novel. There is just something about Les Mis that makes it the sensation that it is. It is a combination of the songs, story, and characters that make it so successful. The songs are brilliant, the characters are so brilliant and well-crafted, the story is so powerful, inspirational and tragic.

Why do you think the musical and book is universal?

Elicit

June Rebellion of 1832

Possible major or minor spoilers

Today is Veteran’s day. When it comes to this day, I tend to think about the June Rebellion of 1832 at times. People tend to think the uprising in Les Mis is the French Revolution, but it actually takes place after the Revolution. This took place on June 5th and 6th of 1832. and was very unsuccessful. As a matter of fact, Victor Hugo actually witnessed this rebellion.

This was the uprising that Victor Hugo decided to use in his masterpiece, Les Misérables. In the musical, the uprising consisted of a group of young college students. The reason why they started this uprising was due to the very weak government. General Lamarque was the only person in the government who showed compassion and kindness towards the poor. When the students decided to arrange this uprising, General Lamarque was dying of cholera.

This uprising was lead by the passionate leader, Enjolras. In total there were nine main members of this  political student group. This group stayed passionate towards the end no matter what. There was a moment in the show where Valjean realized that Cosette loved Marius. Valjean was conflicted between if he should save Marius or should he not because of how much Cosette means to him. He decided to join the students in order to save Marius’ life.

The uprising mainly takes place in the second act. At the beginning, Eponine decides to join Marius at the barricades. She is disguised as a boy, but Marius recognizes her and asks her to deliver a letter to Cosette. Eponine loves Marius unrequitedly, but she does do what Marius asks of her. Marius sees Eponine as no more than a friend and only has eyes for Cosette. Marius only sent her away to protect her from the uprising and wants her safe.

Well, she does deliver the letter, but she still returns to the barricade. While climbing over the barricade, she gets shot and unfortunately her wound ends up being fatal. Despite knowing that she is dying, Eponine still climbs down the barricade to tell Marius that she delivered the letter. Marius has no clue that Eponine is dying at this point. He soon realizes after she collapsed in his arms. But Marius shows her compassion and stays with her till the end. This does leave Marius devastated because he truly cared about Eponine and was fully aware of how unhappy Eponine was. The fact that Eponine got to die in the arms of the man she loved actually gave her peace, comfort, and happiness for once. That is why the scene is so bittersweet and touching. I feel devastated that Eponine is dying, but feel joy knowing that she is happy for once in her life.

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After Eponine died, the students realized how outnumbered they really were. Valjean joined soon after the first death. Even Valjean knew that there was a chance that Marius would not survive the battle. “Drink with Me” is a very sweet song, but the students truly felt hopeless during this number. They realized the situation they have put themselves because they already witnessed a death. Marius at this moment was still devastated at the loss of Eponine.

After the students decided to sleep for the night, Valjean prayed to God that Marius needs to live. This takes place during a very delicate and beautiful song, “Bring Him Home”. This song shows that Valjean would do anything for his adopted daughter even if it means losing her forever. Valjean realized he does not have much time left because he is old.

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The next day, the students still felt hopeless, but yet still had the passion. Gavroche was the second person who died at the barricades. He jumped over the barricade to collect more ammunition, but was killed in the process. But he died a hero because he jumped over the barricade to collect more ammunition. This truly upset the students even more. The government was telling them they should just give up because they had no chance. They still fought despite what they were told. All of students including Enjolras died during the final battle, but they still stood up for what they believed in even though they lost.

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Marius was the lucky one who survived thanks to Valjean. Marius was severely wounded and fell unconscious. Valjean carried Marius through the sewers in order to rescue him. If it wasn’t for Valjean, Marius would have died as well. Marius went through survivor’s guilt wishing he died too.

The June Rebellion may have been a forgotten piece of history, but it is still well known. All because of one book, the June Rebellion will always be remembered. The June Rebellion reflects the fact that France had a very weak government after the French Revolution. There were several rebellions and Victor Hugo actually witnessed the June Rebellion, which is why it is part of his famous novel.

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Review of “The Brick”

Why is Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables, known as “the brick”.

Just last summer, I decided to read the unabridged version of the “brick”. The reason why Victor Hugo’s book is called “the brick” is because of the length. The unabridged book is over one thousand pages and seems intimidating at first. The title also seems to lead people away from the book because it means “the miserable”, which indicates that the book is going to be a heartbreaking and tragic book.

But there is way more to the story then heartbreak and tragedy.  It takes a lot of work to see beyond that and once you realize what is at the core of the book, it makes the storyline so much better.

I decided to set a goal and told myself I will finish it by the end of the summer. I was inspired to read the unabridged book  because of the musical. I was interested in learning more about the book that Les Mis was based off of.Coincidentally, just like the musical, the book was also panned by critics. Victor Hugo once said “I don’t know if everyone will read this book, but it is meant for everyone”. Victor Hugo wrote a book that is about the survival of the human spirit. Les Misérables is one of the greatest stories ever told.

This is a  basic summary: a bit lengthy, possible minor spoilers

Its protagonist, Jean Valjean, is one of the most memorable and best characters in the world of literature. Jean Valjean had a terrible background by serving nineteen years in prison just for stealing a loaf of bread in order to provide for his sister and children. This experience turned him from a good man to a man filled with anger and hatred. After being released, he had to be on parole forever. No one would give him a place to sleep or a place to eat just because he was an ex-convcit. That made him believe society will always hate him. But he was offered mercy, grace, compassion, and forgiveness by the humble bishop. The bishop gave him a meal and a place to sleep.

But Valjean was desperate and stole the bishop’s silver and was caught. But the bishop lied and said that the silver was a gift and gave him the silver candlesticks, which will serve as a reminder of the bishop’s kindness. The bishop was able to forgive him and taught Valjean the ways of the Lord. From that point on, Valjean decided to live by the example of the bishop. On top of that, there are is the love triangle between Marius, Cosette, and Eponine, the tragic tale of Fantine, and the uprising  that the students are planning.

This story is about Valjean’s journey from a harsh man filled with anger and hate to a man filled with compassion and goodness to saintlike. He dedicated his life to the Lord and made a promise to the prostitute, Fantine, that he would raise her daughter, Cosette, as his own. Cosette was the first person he ever loved. Cosette and Valjean were both broken and they helped heal each other.

Overall, this book gave me a better glimpse into the time period that these characters lived. Victor Hugo created a book that realistically described early 19th Century, France. He  actually created some of his characters based of experience. The love story between Marius and Cosette  was based off the love between his first lover and him. He saved a prostitute from being arrested after a customer harassed her, which made him wonder if she had a child and Fantine was created. Hugo actually witnessed the June Rebellion of 1832.

It is hard to give a basic summary of the book. That shows that the storyline line is extremely  complex, but very real. It may be heartbreaking, but the book gives you a wonderful glimpse of the spirituality. It is ultimately a story of sacrifice, hope, compassion, love, forgiveness, and redemption. That is why Hugo’s story manages to uplift you and why it is so inspirational.

One of the most annoying and frustrating things about the book is that sometimes Victor Hugo interrupts the plot with boring history lessons. He would go into fifty or so pages about the battle of waterloo or twenty pages about the sewers of the Paris, etc. But I did not skip over them because my goal was to finish the entire book. But I understand why he wrote that way. You realize it helps you understand the storyline.

Victor Hugo is so clever with his book. He somehow was able to connect all these different characters though several coincidences. The characters all happened to be at the right place at the right time. For example, the Thenardiers and Marius ended up being neighbors at the same place Valjean and Cosette once lived. Cosette also seems to link the characters together. She is Fantine’s daughter, was adopted by Valjean,  part of a love triangle with Eponine and Marius. Because she was Valjean’s adopted daughter, she was always on the run to stay away from Javert and because Marius was a reluctant revolutionary, she connected to the students.

I was aware when I read the unabridged book that characterizations were going to be different, but that wasn’t going to stop me from loving the characters from the stage show. The Thenardier family was one of the most obvious difference in the book. Monsieur and Madame Thenardier were more wicked in the book and did not serve as comic relief.

You get a better glimpse into the poverty that the family faced. You become aware that Gavroche was indeed a Thenardier, which is not referenced in the musical. Eponine, one of my favorite characters in the musical, was slightly different as well. She was less loving in the book and she lives a more darker life in the book. She wasn’t that pretty in the book either. At times, she does become jealous between the love between Marius and Cosette, which makes her act in selfish and self-destructive  ways.

This book gets you a better glimpse into the bishop. The bishop plays a small, but crucial role in the story. Without him, you technically don’t really have a story. Without him, Valjean’s journey would not have been aw wonderful. The bishop helped Valjean raise above from where he came from.

Other characters include the obsessed Javert, the wicked and abusive Thenardiers’, the streetwise and tough Eponine, the self-sacrificing and tragic Fantine, the revolutionary and lover Marius, and the innocent and angelic Cosette and passionate and revolutionary Enjolras.

I may have read the unabridged book last summer, but had a lasting impact on the powerful, epic, and inspirational musical. This book helped make me appreciate the musical even more and it made the spirituality become more alive in the musical. The musical faithfully reflects the book despite all of the characterization differences, but those differences are for the show’s benefit. The book is so powerful and covered in several emotions. It spans over seventeen years. You become more impressed at how the over one thousand page book was condensed into a three hour musical. I used my knowledge of the musical to understand the book. I was able to mark up major characters and write in song names. In a lot of ways, I find this story to be more inspirational then heartbreaking. These characters feel so real to you and you truly can care about every one of these characters even if you don’t like them.

Hint: if anyone wants to read the unabridged version of this book, make sure to have a dictionary at hand and mark up things that will help you understand the story. If you are a fan of the musical, I suggest you use your knowledge of the musical to read this book. I know it helped me.

 

Expert Quality of Les Mis

One of the things that comes to mind when I think of the word, expert, I think of Les Mis. As shown through this blog, you may have noticed that I talk about Les Mis a lot.

I say that because I am literally a walking talking Les Mis encyclopedia. I know a lot about that musical. What I know about the musical ranges from Victor Hugo, the Time Period, the “brick”, the movie and the musical. I still don’t why I am so obsessed with the musical, but I know why I love it so much. There is just something about Les Mis that truly moves you at the deepest part of your soul.

Victor Hugo wanted a story that would reflect 19th century France. He based his book off of things that he witnessed and incorporated himself into some of the characters. The love story of Cosette and Marius was based off of his relationship with his first love. He actually prevented a prostitute from being arrested after she was assaulted and that made him create Fantine. He actually witnessed the June Rebellion, which is the forgotten, but known uprising in the book. He wanted the book to represent the outcasts, the fugitives, and the underdogs. His book is covered with so many emotions, which perfectly is reflected in the musical.

I  think the emotional impact is what sets Les Mis apart from other musicals. It takes you on one of the most powerful, epic and inspirational emotional roller coasters. It takes its emotions very seriously and makes you feel so many. Yes, it is heartbreaking, but through experience, I really learned what is truly at the core of Les Mis. It is ultimately a story of love, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, hope, and redemption. That is why the show is so inspirational. The songs are so brilliant and truthfully and soulfully reflect the storyline and the characters. The songs are filled with so much heart and soul, which is why I am always moved by them.

I really love the characters in this show. They are so strong, complex, and vulnerable. They may live very difficult and tragic lives, but they manage to thrive. These characters teach you that you can become a better person and that you can rise above from where you come from. They teach that that if you are in the middle of a dark time in your life, that there still is hope and that you can get through it. Most of them may die, but they will always live in your heart and soul. You end up caring for every single one of them even the ones you don’t like. Having an emotional connection really matters in musicals and the emotions hit me like a wreaking ball, but I feel the emotions in a good way including the negative emotions. The emotional nature of Les Mis is so special and I cannot describe that experience at all.

It is such an epic story. I don’t know how to describe its epic quality. As far as I know, it takes place during a time span of seventeen years. When time passes, you are always introduced to a brand new character. The story is so complex and I always find myself discovering something new about either the characters or the emotions. It has the conflict between Valjean and Javert, the tragic tale of Fantine, the love triangle between Marius, Cosette, and Eponine, and the June Rebellion of 1832. One of the most clever things about the storyline is that it is full of coincidences, which is what connects the characters.

So, what your thoughts on Les Mis? Why do you think this tragic and inspirational musical  is so successful?

Expert

Obsessive Nature of Les Mis

This post is very special to me. As many may know, I am a huge musical fan. My journey with them has been incredible. I grew up with happy musicals where I learned about the emotions of excitement, love, joy, and sad. I fully believed that all musicals were going to be comic and happy, but I had no clue that one musical was going to change everything I already knew.

Well, in December of 2012, my parents took me to see the movie of Les Mis. I had no idea how much influence Les Mis would have on my knowledge of musicals. I didn’t know that I was about to fall in love with a tragedy. I went to the movie mainly for “I Dreamed a Dream” because I knew that song. After the first character died, I realized what that title meant and that the show was a tragedy. I was thinking “wait a minute, is this a tragedy”. I did not know how to handle that and due to it, I watched the rest of the movie in such shock. By the end, I only remembered three songs, which were “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Master of the House”, and “Do You Hear the People Sing”.  I was thinking “did I just enjoy a tragedy” and I was confused.

After that movie experience, I really went straight out and started researching the musical.  I decided to request the songs on Pandora and learn more about the book. I researched Victor Hugo and the time period along with the musical. I decided to watch the movie a second time to give it a second chance and this time, I got more out of it. I finally began to understand the musical and was able to feel the emotions better. I knew I had to eventually see the stage version. I did start to wonder “what makes this tragedy so uplifting”? That made me research the musical even more. I quickly realized that it is a story of sacrifice, humanity, hope, compassion, love, forgiveness, and redemption.

All of this research left me obsessed with the musical. Because I was so passionate about the musical, I read the book starting with the abridged eventually attempting the unabridged. Having the knowledge of the musical helped me understand and grasp the book better. I was able to mark major characters and write in songs. I have seen the stage show four times including once in London. By reading the book, it actually gave wonderful inspiration and strength to the musical.

I don’t know why I am obsessed, but I do know why I love it so much. There is something about the songs and material that grabs you in. Yes, the characters go through terrible things, but they do manage to thrive. The characters range from the compassionate and ex-convict Valjean, the obsessive Javert, the sacrificing and tragic Fantine, the revolutionary and lover Marius, the innocent Cosette, the loving and brave Eponine, the passionate Enjolras, and the funny and abusive Thenardiers’. They have to live through a very difficult time in France. There was a lot of poverty, injustice, suffering, and misery going on. The government was very weak, which led to the June Rebellion of 1832. It is a story of standing up for what you believe in, doing what is right, raising above from your background, and attempting to become a better person. Les Mis is truly one of the most powerful stories. It understands what it means to be human. The storyline line is very multi-layered and the score portrays that. It has multiple storylines. You have the conflict between Valjean and Javert, the love triangle between Cosette, Marius and Eponine, and the uprising led by Enjolras.

The strength of the score is so hard to describe. The score makes you truthfully feel all of the emotions. It gives you the thrill of being emotional and at the same time makes you feel moved and inspired. The songs have the ability to reduce you to tears. The score touches your soul so deeply and always keeps you connected to the characters and plot. I still cannot pick a favorite character or song. But my favorite solo is “On My Own” and my favorite death scene is “A Little Fall of Rain”.

It is still hard to believe that there are tragic musicals in existence. But they fit the world of musicals as Les Mis shows. I worked with it to understand why the musical fits the universe of musicals. By seeing Les Mis through its inspirational nature, I am better able to understand the heartbreaking nature. Through the finale, it says that “even the darkest night will stand and the sun will rise”. Through those lyrics, you can tell that Les Mis has a glimmer of hope in it. The finale also says “to love another person is to see the face of God”. Les Mis explores different kinds of love such as love for a country, love for a child, love for a parent,  and romantic love: both requited and unrequited.

As many can tell, I am so passionate about the musical and musicals in general. Being passionate about Les Mis is an advantage because the musical is such a passionate piece. If I wasn’t obsessed with Les Mis, I wouldn’t be as musical crazy as I am now. Les Mis is one of my #1 favorite musicals. So overall, I love it because it is one of the most powerful stories set to some of the most brilliant and empathetic music. It has fascinating characters and there is always something to relate and connect to. I don’t relate to any of the characters exactly, but I relate to the spirituality of the musical. I really thought I would hate a tragedy and felt like that genre did not belong in theatre especially in musicals. I am glad I learned the value of Les Mis and why it touches audiences the way it does.

Below are three blog posts about Les Mis. There are spoilers in them.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/words-that-describe-les-mis/

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/even-the-darkest-night-and-end-and-the-sun-will-rise/

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/05/24/is-there-symbolism-in-the-les-mis-deaths/

Obsessed

Complicated