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“Cosette,” Books One–Two

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“Cosette,” Books One–Two

“Cosette,” Books One–Two

“Cosette,” Books One–Two

“Cosette,” Books One–Two

“Cosette,” Books One–Two

The fact that Hugo interprets Waterloo as a defeat for France due to bad luck shows us that unfairness and injustice are not limited to the world of Valjean but have a part in larger events as well. Hugo views Napoléon as a brilliant strategist and a defender of equality who brings France to new heights. Nonetheless, Napoléon loses at Waterloo. Even worse, according to Hugo, is the fact that Napoléon loses the battle because of something as banal as the weather, not because of any substantive blunders on his part or any significant ingenuity on the part of the British. The defeat at Waterloo is as arbitrary and unfair as Valjean’s imprisonment, but on a larger scale. The unfair outcomes leave us hungry for justice, anticipating the unrest that emerges in later chapters.

Stylistically, the battle accounts and fictitious newspaper excerpts are a departure from Hugo’s straightforward narrative style. These devices emphasize the fact that though Hugo’s characters are fictional, the novel’s plot turns on actual events in the history of France. The change in narrative mode also lends dynamism to the novel by including a number of different perspectives.

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“COSETTE,” BOOKS ONE–TWO QUIZ

According to the narrator, what defeated Napoleon at Waterloo?
British strategy
Prussian treachery
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“Cosette,” Books One–Two QUIZ

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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   →