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Les Miserables > Les-Mis - Marius Books-5-7

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message 1: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia It's been some weeks now since I read this but I liked the change of pace and tone as Hugo switches into romantic mode here - and his gentle, affectionate humour over Marius' idealisation of Cosette. Hugo judges it well enough to give that sense of young, innocent love without it going on so long that I started eye rolling!

The insight into Cosette's sense of herself is interesting too - especially given that she seems to be isolated from other women.


message 2: by Dianne (last edited Jul 01, 2018 10:51AM) (new)

Dianne | 1268 comments Books 5-6: Dear friends! Phew it has been a bit of a roller coaster for me lately and I hope you are still around and ready to jump back onboard for the rest of this fabulous book. A huge thank you to Lorna for stepping up to help out and we look forward to leading the rest of the read of Les Mis!

Why do you think Marius embraced poverty? Did poverty help him to realize his identity or was his rejection of wealth a sign that he had already reached a conclusion about who he was? I wonder if he could have used his means for the greater good, the way that Jean Valjean did during his time as mayor. Do you see parallels between Marius and JV?

I was thinking when Marius saw Cosette as a young woman it must have been more than her appearance that made him fall for her. She had suffered so, she had been raised in such a unique manner, she had been so sheltered and was so innocent - I wonder if Marius detected any of these qualities in her interactions with JV, her mannerisms, the look in her eyes.


message 3: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 1268 comments Book 7: This book was a bit of an abrupt transition to the gang of four 'ruffians' - we have to assume that they will play some nefarious role in the rest of the book. Still, I pause at getting instead in these villains, as they may disappear just as abruptly as the Tholomyes crew did. Hugo describes them in such a disturbing way:

"They seem to be not men, but forms made of living mist. They look as if they are usually at one with the shadows, are indistinct from them, have no other soul but the gloom, and it is only momentarily, for the purpose of living a monstrous life for a few minutes, that they have broken out of the darkness."

and he goes on...

"what is needed to make these noxious spirits disappear? Light. Floods of light. No bat withstands the don. Illuminate society's underside."

This may well be true - but doesn't our dear JV need to avoid illumination in order to survive?


message 4: by Alana (new)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments Dianne wrote: "Books 5-6: Dear friends! Phew it has been a bit of a roller coaster for me lately and I hope you are still around and ready to jump back onboard for the rest of this fabulous book. A huge thank you..."

I wonder if the rejection of the wealth is more the impulse of youth, to completely reject what is viewed as a negative, but that in time perhaps, he can embrace the gifts that he has and be able to use them for others, even if he's not entirely comfortable with them? As in not to love money, but be able to use it for what it is?


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Just catching up

I think Marius is very stubborn which is why he rejects the offer of wealth. He is angry he was kept from his father and therefore wants to prove he can make it on his own.

It also fits in well with the story- he has chosen poverty compared to Fantine who was left destitute by circumstance.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Just reading book 7. There is another great line from Hugo

‘They were a single monstrous polyp of evil living in the crypt of society’

I must also commend the translation because that sentence is just fantastic!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

It’s the Julie Rose translation, published by vintage in the UK. I’ve been very impressed with it, doesn’t feel like I’m reading a translation


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