Les Miserables Quotes

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33 terms · English midterm study guide 2010

"The crucifix above the mantelpiece was dimly visible in the moonlight, apparently extending its arms towards both with a benediction for one and pardon for the other."

At the bishop's house right before Jean Valjean stole the silver. The crucifix is above the Bishop's bed where he is sleeping. The image of the crucifix is used throughout the whole novel, especially with Valjean.

Forget not, never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man. "

Bishop is saying this to Jean Valjean after he lied for Valjean about stealing the silver. This is where Jean Valjean turned and started to realize he needed to change his ways and become a more honorable man.

"Then his heart swelled and he burst into tears... the door of Monseigneur Bienvenu."

In this moment Valjean cries for the first time in 19 years. He has not cried since his first night in Prison. He feels terrible guilty about stealing the little boys coin, and decides to be a better man from that moment on.

"She had gold and pearls for her dowry; but the gold was on her head and the pearls in her mouth."

Talking about Fantine and how beautiful she is even though she has no money, no home, and no family. Foreshadowing how she will eventually have to sell her hair and teeth for money.

"The captured mouse was a very puny one, but the cat exulted even over a lean mouse."

Metaphor. Thénardiers are the cat. Cosette is the captured mouse.

- "Cosette, so fresh and pretty when she came to that house...only the poor lark never sang."

Cosette is the lark. She came to the Thénardier house beautiful and full of life and now she has grown into a worn down and tired little girl. No one knows her name; they just call her the lark. A lark is a bird who is small but sings beautifully.

"The face of Fantine... her tomb was like her bed."

In this scene Fantine dies with Jean Valjean by her side. He gives her a common burial.

"A great doll nearly two feet high...real hair and enamel eyes."

This is a doll that Cosette walks by and wants, and every other little girl also wants this beautiful doll, even the Thénardiers daughters. But this doll is very expensive. It has real hair→Fantine's hair.

"At this moment she fell all at once that weight... the child was not afraid."

Valjean is there when Cosette is out getting a bucket of water. He helps her carry the water. Oddly enough Cosette for some reason is not afraid of this man who she has never seen before.

"Cosette looked upon the wonderful doll...I will call her Catherine."

Valjean has just bought the doll for Cosette and she is happy beyond belief. Cosette names the doll Catherine. This is the turning point in Cosette's life.

"Cosette walked seriously along... She felt somewhat as if she were near God."

Valjean has just bought Fantine from the Thénardiers and when she is walking along with him she feels safe with him like she is in the presence of God for the first time in a long time.

"Nine months before he had kissed the hand of the mother, who also had just fallen asleep."

This is very significant because nine months is how long of a period childbirth is. So he was with the mother when she was dying nine months ago and now he is with the daughter.

"Jean Valjean had never loved anything...Cosette evoked the dawn of love."

He has never had a family of his own; Cosette is like a daughter to him. He is once again changing for the better, into a father.

"The coming of this man and his participation in the destiny of this child had been the advent of God. "

Jean Valjean takes another step into being the man he promised the Bishop he would be. He is becoming for religious too.

"He protected her and she gave strength to him...Destiny!"

This shows how Valjean and Cosette need each other. They both give one another something that they have always needed.

"The hall was still too dark for him...form of Javert."

a. Javert is a police officer and Valjean is not living by all the rules that a pervious convict has to live by.

"For my son...he will do Thénardier all the service he can."

Letter Marius's father left him. Says that the Thénardiers are good people because Thénardier tricked the father. Foreshadowing.

"I do not wish you to have a bad opinion of me...had a father that loved you well."

Marius at church talking to a friend of his father's. He finds out that his father did love him after all, and that his father was a great and noble man.

"Who were the friends of the A B C?... they wished to raise them up."

Friends of the A B C are a radical group that Marius joins after he leaves his grandfather's house. He eventually splits with them because they are against napoleon, unlike him.

"It's the emeutes (mobs)."

The battle is just starting. Very important scene. Many vital people die here. Jean Valjean saves Marius in this battle.

"France bleeds, but liberty smiles, and before the smile of liberty, France forgets her wound."

Personification. Important because, right now, things aren't looking so good for France, but the battle is going on so things will eventually be better for France and for Liberty.

Death of Mabeuf.

He dies while putting the flag up. He knows he is old and is going to die anyways so he sacrifices himself for freedom and the republic.

Death of Eponine

She sacrifices herself to save Marius, whom she loved. Because of her Marius had another chance to live.

"This barricade is made neither of... by the dawn."

Important because this speech gives all the fighters at the barricade strive to fight for a republic. Gives everyone the hope and passion they need to go on.

Death of Gavroche.

Important because he finally finds something in his life that he believes is worth fighting for. He dies singing while collecting bullets for the fighters.

"The bullets ran after him."

Personification. It took a few bullets to finally kill Gavroche.

Jean Valjean allows Javert to escape.

This shows that Jean Valjean had changed because he lets the man who has been trying to put him in jail for years to live. He even gives Javert his address so Javert can come arrest him after the battle.

"The grandeur and the beauty of France...this is because she is an artist."

Personification. This describes France during the fight.

"The barricade scaled was like a mane of flashes."

Battle still going on.

Death of Enjolras.

He leads the insurrection. Leader of the A B C.

Jean Valjean carries Marius through the sewers.

Jean Valjean saves Marius's life but Marius doesn't know.

Death of Javert.

He didn't know what to believe anymore. Nothing is black and white. He drowns himself.

Death of Jean Valjean.

Dies with Cosette and Marius by his side. Dies a changed man just like he promised the Bishop.

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