Thoughts and commentary on Victor Hugo’s masterpiece.
Posts Tagged “Poverty”
Righteousness vs “Righteousness”Continuing my re-read of the book: Javert makes his entrance as one of M. Madeleine's few detractors, and the system chews up Fantine and spits her out.
Paris Has the Best Street UrchinsVictor Hugo describes the idealized Paris urchin of the early 1800s, a microcosm of Paris, itself a microcosm of the world. Then we meet Gavroche.
Poor, Poor MariusMarius fares much better in poverty than Fantine. One of his friends is completely absorbed by books. His grandfather is a classic grumpy old man.
Ambush in the SlumsMarius meets his wretched neighbors, the Thenardiers, who try to extort money from Jean Valjean and Cosette. A tense standoff is interrupted by Javert.
Argot, F-- YourselfI finally read the chapters the translator pulled out. Thieves' slang turned out to be less a topic and more of a lens to focus on the same themes as usual.
Over the EdgeMarius and Cosette's secret meetings start off well. They even escape an attempted robbery. But everything falls apart just as Paris begins to boil over.
The Wretched of the EarthWhile the whole novel is built around justice for those downtrodden by society, Victor Hugo focuses on five specific examples of poverty.
Wretched in Every Sense of the WordTheir parents may be terrible people, but Éponine and Azelma don’t deserve it. You can see why Gavroche left. He and the younger brothers are better off on the streets.
The AmbushWe see the ambush entirely through Marius' limited POV. The reader has to piece things together, making the multiple dualities even clearer.