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Les Misérables
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Les Miserables > Les Mis - Marius Books 2-4

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message 1: by Dianne (last edited Jun 02, 2018 08:36AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dianne | 1273 comments oh my gosh I just logged on and realized I had this post in draft but didn't actually hit 'post'. My apologies! Well here goes and I'll post the next week's thread tomorrow.

The dramatic twists in the novel continue in this section as we learn about Marius Pontmercy, who grew up under the care of his Grandfather, Monsieur Gillenormand, having been told by his grandfather that he was abandoned. Little does he know that his grandfather forced his father to give him up and have no contact with him. He only learns of the truth, and that his father truly and deeply loved him, just after he died. Marius strives to learn all that he can about his father, and develops a deep love for him and a disgust for his grandfather who lied to him for so many years. Marius ends up going to law school and becomes involved heavily in politics. He joins a group called the Friends of the ABC, led by a fellow named Enjolras, and we learn about its mission to promote revolution, and background about several of the members of the group.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

There was another fairly dramatic death scene is this chapter when Pontmercy was found on the floor. Marius sadly just missed him, as did the priest he requested.

I thought there were some really funny lines in this bit

‘Not seeing people allows you to think of them as perfect in many ways’ which I made a note of but without the page number and now I can’t find it


‘You may be a old, you may be a prude, you may be devout, you may be the aunt, but it is always nice to see a lancer step into your bedroom ‘ Referring to Madame Gillenormand’s delight at Theodule’s visit


One thing that struck me in this section was the theme of parental/familial love. There are so many examples of a variety of child-adult relationships in this book. For example, JV appears to treat Cosette better than Monsieur Gillenormand treats Marius, his actual flesh and blood. There is also similarities in that both Cosette and Marius were abandoned by their parents but because their parents expected they would have a better life. Sadly, neither of them did it seems


Roman Clodia Heather wrote: "One thing that struck me in this section was the theme of parental/familial love. "

Yes, I liked the connections, too, between Marius' story and that of JV and Cosette.

I'm enjoying how leisurely Hugo is in terms of where he's going - it's hard to believe that he edited anything out!

This is a re-read for me and I'm surprised at how much I didn't remember such as these scenes from Marius' young life: I think perhaps my memories of the story overall have been so impacted by the stage show and film that I'd forgotten the detail of the book... which is good, as it's feeling new in parts.


Renee | 23 comments I've fallen behind again, and I'm just catching up to this section. I have never been to see the show, but have watched the movie many times. In the movie, you don't really learn anything about Marius, so I really enjoyed reading these chapters. His grandfather persuaded his father to give up custody to him because he considered Marius' father a disappointment to the family because he fought with Bonaparte. His father agrees, but secretly goes to see him when his aunt takes him to mass.

It was interesting reading about Marius growing up and learning his royalist ways from early on just visiting in Mme de T---'s salon. Only after his father dies, and he hears how his father really felt about him does he look into his father's records and beliefs. So he goes from being a royalist to a Bonapartist. I really enjoyed these chapters and loved finally getting to know some of the background for Marius.


message 5: by Cindy (new) - added it

Cindy Newton | 52 comments I'm behind too, but catching up! I'm enjoying this sudden switch to Marius, and I'm anxious to see how his story is going to connect to JV and Cosette (although I have my theories). What a tragic thing, to be raised to despise your father only to find out, after it's too late, how very much he loved you and was actually an admirable person. Marius seems to be a pretty principled person, though, and sticks to his guns even when it makes his life difficult.


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