The Les Mis Quiz
Are you a Javert or an Eponine? Take the Playbill quiz to find out!. In the first section of the book, the author compares Fantine to a lark. However, Jean Valjean is without a doubt the hero of our story,. The Odd Couple. Earlier in the story, Fantine was fired from Valjean's factory. Not by him, but by his Do you want to learn more about a current relationship? If you're curious and.
She is also unaware that the letters they send to her requesting financial help for Cosette are their own fraudulent way to extort money from her for themselves.
The Les Mis Quiz
Loss of work[ edit ] Fantine is fired by a meddlesome supervisor, Madame Victurnien, without the knowledge of the mayor, when she finds out that Fantine is an unwed mother. Her overworking causes her to become sick with a cough and fever.Les Misérables - Clip: "At The End Of The Day"
She also rarely goes out, fearing the disgrace she would face from the townspeople. To buy the skirt herself, Fantine has her hair cut off and sold. She then says to herself "My child is no longer cold, I have clothed her with my hair. She later takes on a lover, only for him to beat her and then abandon her.
In order to continue to earn money for Cosette, Fantine becomes a prostitute. During a January evening, a dandy called Bamatabois heckles her and shoves snow down the back of her dress when she ignores him. Fantine ferociously attacks him. Javertthe town's police inspector, immediately arrests her while Bamatabois sneaks away.
She begs to be let go, but Javert sentences her to six months in prison. Valjean arrives to help Fantine, but upon seeing him she spits in his face. Dismissing the act, Valjean orders Javert to free Fantine, which he reluctantly does. Valjean comes to find out the reasons Fantine became a prostitute and why she attacked Bamatabois.
He feels sorry for the innocent Fantine and Cosette, and tells her that he will retrieve Cosette for her. He sends Fantine to the hospital, as she is suffering from tuberculosis. Death[ edit ] After Valjean reveals his true identity at Champmathieu 's trial, he goes back to see Fantine at the hospital. She asks about Cosette, and the doctor lies to her saying that Cosette is at the hospital but cannot see Fantine until her health improves. She is appeased by this, and even mistakenly thinks that she hears Cosette laughing and singing.
Suddenly, she and Valjean see Javert at the door. Valjean tries to privately ask Javert for three days to obtain Cosette, but he loudly refuses. Fantine realizes that Cosette was never retrieved and frantically asks where she is.
Which Les Misérables Character Are You? | Playbill
Javert impatiently yells at Fantine to be silent, and additionally, tells her Valjean's true identity. Shocked by these revelations, she suffers a severe fit of trembling, falls back on her bed and dies.
Valjean then walks to Fantine, whispers to her and kisses her hand. After Valjean is taken into custody, Fantine's body is unceremoniously thrown into a public grave. Later on, after escaping imprisonment, Valjean rescues Cosette and raises her on Fantine's behalf. Fantine has been interpreted as a holy prostitute figure who becomes a quintessential mother by sacrificing her own body and dignity for the purpose of securing the life of her child.
Oscar Wilde presented her as a figure whose suffering makes her lovable, writing of the scene after she has her teeth removed, that "We run to kiss the bleeding mouth of Fantine".
Grossman says she moves into a form of "maternal sainthood" and that "When Madeleine Valjean's pseudonym as mayor affirms that she has remained virtuous and holy before God, Fantine can finally release her hatred and love others again. The way that many Christians understand divine justice retributively makes "justification by faith" merely a substitute for works-righteousness rather than a repudiation of it. God expects us to be perfect; we can't be perfect; God tortures people eternally who aren't perfect; but "accepting Christ" tricks God into "seeing" Christ's imputed perfection superimposed on top of us so that we can enter the pearly gates.
In this system of thinking, God's justice takes a form analogous to the modern penal court or the capitalist free market. For the sake of the universal order, every debt must be paid and every transgression must be punished perfectly; otherwise the system collapses. Default and amnesty are the twin unforgivable sins of modern capitalism and the penal court.
Javert's song "Stars" evokes the order which is the highest concern in this conception of the universe: Stars in your multitudes, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness with order and light You are the sentinels, silent and sure, keeping watch in the night, keeping watch in the night You know your place in the sky; you hold your course and your aim And each in your season returns and returns and is always the same.
Humanity, like the night sky, exists for the sake of God's abstract glory. What matters is that "you know your place in the sky," that you discover your "purpose-driven life. So when Javert holds people ruthlessly accountable to the law, it is his own version of "Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" Matthew 5: There is nothing inconsistent about Javert's zeal for the law in the kingdom of the sword if the point of the cross is to show that God has zero tolerance for imperfection.
By making sure that criminals are punished perfectly, Javert is not saying that they can't go to heaven if they fulfill the spiritual requirements for exempting themselves from eternal retribution and that is the only reality that Jesus' cross addresses in Javert's Christianity.
Valjean and Javert: The Two Christianities of Les Miserables | HuffPost
Here's a litmus test of whether you live under Javert's Christianity or not. If the police came to your house with a thief who had stolen your silver, would you lie and say that it was a gift and add two candlesticks? Because the law is the law, and a criminal is a criminal. If you lied to defend someone who robbed you, that thief would just go and rob somebody else because "a man like that can never change. And yet it is common to the legends of ancient Christian saints like the Desert Fathers and St.
Francis that they would chase after their thieves saying, "You forgot something! Just like I had to accept Jesus' sacrifice for my sins, a criminal must accept the consequences of his crime and lying to protect him even if I'm the victim of the crime would be a crime on my part.
Though it's easy to make Javert into the works-righteousness pursuing "Catholic" that we evangelicals can define ourselves against, he's really no different than any of us for whom the most important aspect of Christian orthodoxy is a strong affirmation of a well populated and endlessly torturous hell.
In the Christianity of Javert, a thief is a thief and a prostitute is a prostitute because sin is strictly a matter of individual choice. The clean mathematics of Javert's retributive justice is threatened when you allow circumstances to mitigate blame, when you allow yourselves to notice that thieves sometimes steal bread to feed starving children or women can become prostitutes after being unjustly fired because they refuse the sexual advances of their supervisor.
Under the clean mathematics of retributive justice, a widespread social problem like poverty can never be called "injustice" unless you can trace it to a specific blameworthy deed or infraction of the law.
Valjean "Les Miserables" puts the concept of retributive justice on trial through its sympathetic portrayal of the misunderstood thief and prostitute who are its principal protagonists. It is also offers a different vision for justice through the character of Valjean. It is completely misunderstanding the story to see Valjean's deeds as the mercy that "complements" the justice of Javert.
Both before and after his conversion to Christianity, Valjean's actions display a justice that is rooted in personal solidarity. Valjean simply chooses to do justice to individual people instead of honoring the requirements of an abstract order. This starts with Valjean's initial criminal act. He steals bread as a response to the injustice of his nephew's starvation.
Is it more unjust to steal bread to feed a starving child or to starve children with an economic system that makes bread unaffordable to their mothers, even if it's perfectly legal and serves the utilitarian needs of the majority of the population?
The way you answer depends upon whether you define justice according to the universality of social order or the particularity of personal solidarity. People who live in security have a vested interest in the justice of the social order that provides their security; people who live in desperation are going to care more about the justice shown to personal individuals in their lives than respecting a social order that doesn't provide them with any stability.
The one unequivocal sin that Valjean commits in stealing the bishop's silver is actually done out of a sense of retribution at the injustice with which he feels the world has treated him: Take an eye for an eye! Turn your heart into stone!
This is all I have lived for!
This is all I have known!