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“Fantine,” Book Five: The Descent

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“Fantine,” Book Five: The Descent

“Fantine,” Book Five: The Descent

“Fantine,” Book Five: The Descent

“Fantine,” Book Five: The Descent

“Fantine,” Book Five: The Descent

Hugo uses foreshadowing in these chapters, dropping multiple hints that Madeleine is in fact Jean Valjean. He helps us interpret these clues through Javert’s unwavering eyes. The narrator notes, for example, that no one thinks to ask Madeleine for his passport because his rescue of two children has made him an unquestioned hero. The narrator also casually mentions that Madeleine wears a black armband upon hearing of Myriel’s death, which we know is something Valjean might do since Myriel is so important to him. In case we miss some of these hints about Valjean’s true nature, Hugo provides Javert’s investigative eye to interpret them for us. Though we might not, for instance, understand the significance of Madeleine’s rescue of Fauchelevent, Javert immediately notes this act as a sign that Madeleine possesses Valjean’s unusual strength. These clues make us fairly sure that Madeleine is indeed Valjean. However, like Javert, we do not have proof, and we begin to anticipate the climactic moment when our suspicions will be confirmed.

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“FANTINE,” BOOK FIVE: THE DESCENT QUIZ

When Fantine returns to Montreuil-sur-mer, how long has she been away?
Six years
Nine years
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Les Miserables Analysis

by Adi31415, March 28, 2013

Les Miserables is based around the turning point in French history, and it explores the nature of this change in terms of society, and uses this as a basis for explaining the revolution. It explains how the ‘miserables’, or ‘victims’, damned into a life of thievery and being the scum of the Earth aren’t inherently bad. The society which has not given them a chance forces them to be bad, or do bad things. Instead of understanding their inner goodness and their plight to change their ways, or giving them some kindness or hope, they a... Read more

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Correction to Note 1 in Study Section

by IleneRM, October 24, 2013

It says: "Fantine falls in love with Tholomyès, a debonair upper-class student who obeys upper-class social customs and leaves Fantine even though she is pregnant with his child." This is wrong. Fantine was not pregnant. Ten months after the affair ended, Cosette was almost 3 years old; therefore she was already born when he left Fantine.

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12 out of 20 people found this helpful

Study Questions - error in #1

by IleneRM, October 24, 2013

It says: "Fantine falls in love with Tholomyès, a debonair upper-class student who obeys upper-class social customs and leaves Fantine even though she is pregnant with his child." This is wrong. Fantine was not pregnant. Ten months after the affair ended, Cosette was almost 3 years old; therefore she was already born when he left Fantine.

See all 7 readers' notes   →