Monday, November 24, 2014

I'm doing everything all wrong

Please indulge me for a moment.  I know I go to this well often, but our family went to the high school's production of Les Miserables on Saturday night, so you know I'm on a tear again about Marius Pontmercy, Literature's Greatest Villain.  


They sanitize Marius for the musical, which I didn't remember, since the last time I saw it was in high school.  In the musical he half-heartedly protests when Jean Valjean decides to remove himself from their lives to protect Cosette's reputation or whatever.  But even so, it's like here's this guy who has helped countless people, fought valiantly at the barricade, taken in a dying woman's child and raised her as his own, symbolically represented humanity's journey from beast to angel, and Marius is like meh, UNTIL he finds out that he also owes his own life to Jean Valjean and then it's all COME BACK SHANE.  And in the book he's horrific.  Victor Hugo is another one of those authors that I need to talk to--what was his intention with Marius, and to a lesser extent, Cosette?  Are they supposed to be sympathetic characters?  Maybe Victor Hugo and Mary Shelley are up in heaven just laughing fit to bust about how they've created these terrible garbage people for characters.  

What a terrific story is Les Miserables, though.  The musical can't fully explore all the themes in the book, but it does a good job with the time and resources it has.  I would like to talk about this story for a long time, please.