returns, he insists once again on marrying Cosette, and this time the grandfather relents. Old wounds are at least partially healed. As Javert is also dead, it would seem that Cosette, Valjean, Marius and his grandfather could all form one happy family. Cosette and Marius marry, but Valjean reveals the truth of himself to Marius who gradually banishes him from even seeing Cosette. The Thenardiers are a continuous nuisance and occasionally a real threat throughout the book, but in spite of Thenardier’s intention to bring harm to Valjean, he actually reveals the truth of Valjean’s history to Marius. Valjean dies in the end, but it is with contentment after a joyful reunion with Cosette. He is content to know that Cosette and Marius have “forgiven” him, although it seems as though Valjean himself is the one who has the right to be on the forgiving end of things. LES MISERABLES: FREE STUDY GUIDE / BOOK SUMMARY KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING France in the 1800's during the period of the Restoration. The major action is in Paris, but some episodes take place in neighboring towns. CHARACTER LIST Major Characters Jean Valjean The ex-convict who had been imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. Primary protagonist.
Monsiegneur Bienvenu The benevolent priest of the first book whose generosity and self sacrifice changes Valjean. Cosette The child of Fantine whom Valjean raises as his granddaughter. Javert The inspector of police who’s lifelong ambition is to put Valjean back behind bars. Marius College student and idealist who falls in love with Cosette. M. Gillenormand Grandfather of Marius. Representative of the old bourgeois. Thenardier The paragon of evil both in character and in representation of other negative forces. Minor Characters Fantine Cosette’s mother. Has Cosette during a relationship with a college student who leaves her without marrying her or providing for the child. Fantine is forced to leave Cosette with someone who will supposedly take care of her while Fantine works for her support. M. Fauchelevant An old gardener whom Valjean rescues when a cart falls on him. Later helps provide a place of refuge for Valjean and Cosette.
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- Fall '10
- Angelica Magtibay
- Hunchback of Notre Dame, Jean Valjean