Thursday, October 15, 2015

AVMBP - Day Three: Theater Character to Defend/Discuss

Day Three: Theater Character to Defend/Discuss

Cosette & Eponine Thenardier 

Wow! I wrote a post similar to this three years ago and it's still causing controversy! 

I'm going to copy and paste my original article into this post


      I don't understand why people view Cosette with such dislike and raise Eponine on a pedestal. I mentioned this in my movie review, but now I'm going to go a little deeper with it. I have never really liked Eponine at all and to those who say that she is the true heroine of the story, well then you clearly haven't understood the story. Fantine is the true heroine. A single mother who gave her life for her precious daughter is far greater than a lovesick girl getting shot for a man who doesn't love her at all or at least not romantic love. It's clear that Marius cared about her, but it wasn't the love that Eponine wanted. He loved Cosette, end of story.

      I always saw Cosette as the Cinderella of the story and isn't that what people love? A poor girl from obscure beginnings who is rescued by a kind man and raised in his love. Why do people see her as a clueless airhead? They condemn her for being silly and ridiculous for falling in love with a man she only saw once, but didn't Marius do the same thing? How come Marius isn't ridiculed and called an airhead for the same reason?

     Cosette has lived a sheltered life in a convent with her father for nine years, so she hasn't really grown up around men at all. She has been raised to be innocent, generous and kind. Yet, she probably hasn't forgotten her abused former life and the Thenadiers, so she isn't that clueless about the outside world. Then comes the first glance of love from the first man who seems to notice her and she is curious, amazed and even a little scared. Give her a break, I think we've all been there.

      Quit punishing Cosette for being kind and generous. Stop going on about how she has no real importance in the story She plays a very distinct part in Les Miserables. It was because of her that her mother gave her life, it was because of her that Valjean could live the life he always dreamed of, it was because of her that Marius finally saw love in a concrete form and not as an abstract illusion. In a world that was dominated by darkness, terror and fear, Cosette stood out with a gentle, but strong light to those who needed it. Her mother, her father, and her lover.

Eponine Thenardier

     Even as a little girl and watching the musical, I found Eponine incredibly annoying. All she seemed to do was whine and moan about a man who didn't notice her. I didn't understand her role in the musical at all and even now, I'm annoyed by her. They're at the brink of a revolution and she's crying about how alone she is. Dry up Scarlett.

     Now, I'm not going to be entirely cruel. There are many honorable aspects to Eponine. She was courageous, she helped Marius find Cosette as well as take a bullet for him. There is a general charm and kindness about Eponine and that's how a lot of people see her, but they don't have to slander Cosette just because she got the guy and the poor girl didn't.

     Also, Eponine is is completely destitute, she has no home and no money and is also (in the eyes of Javert and the Parisian government) a menace to society, because she helps her father with his plots. She knew full well that Marius couldn't conceive the thought of taking her because of those qualities. Unfair as they may, they are what make Eponine who she is. She didn't join the barricades because she believed in a better world, she was there to be with Marius and nothing more or less than that.

     We all live, we all love, and eventually we all die with love, without love, or fighting for love. That's what Eponine did, she died for love. She died so Marius could live and love Cosette.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, Ivy! I agree with your logic -- Cosette is a good and innocent character, and Eponine is definitely flawed. I'm not a huge fan of this story. I liked the movie, but I've never read the book, or seen it performed live, and I like the music, but only really know some of it. So my opinion is just based on basic instincts and impressions, but I like Eponine more. If I studied the story more, perhaps that might change, but right now that's how it is -- simply because I identify with her more than I do Cosette. It strikes me that this story is full of characters that have commendable and detestable qualities all mixed in together, so in order to appreciate any of them you have to get past some bad for the good. So I realize that Eponine's obsession with Marius is completely unreasonable, and that she takes it way too far, and is totally and understandably beneath him. However, her situation of unrequited love resonates with me more than Cosette's of requited love-at-first-sight. And I love that she loves him so selflessly in the end. She proves that she really loved him, not just that she was infatuated or something, and that's something that always really resonates with me. Anyway, I don't want to change your opinion or anything -- I mean, I agree with your assessment and everything -- that's just my take on it. :)


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