Re-Reading Les Misérables

Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.

Aftermath of an Ambush

Things aren’t going too well for anyone after the extortion attempt. Marius is too depressed to work (not trauma so much as pining for the girl who turns out not to be Ursule after all), and is only able to muster up enough energy to daydream, which turns into a vicious cycle. Most of the gang and all of the Thénardier family have been arrested, not that it stops them from planning for future burglaries. Javert’s annoyed that he missed the bigger prize (and that Batman, I mean Claquesous, has escaped). Éponine and Azelma have at least been let free for lack of evidence, but they’re on their own. We also check in on Mabeuf, who’s been slipping deeper into poverty.

There’s a great scene where Mabeuf is struggling to draw water from his well. Éponine shows up out of nowhere, handles the bucket for him, and waters his garden. It’s a tiny scene, but I really like the reversal and callback to Valjean meeting Cosette.