Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

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Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby 23623 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:13 pm

Not sure if this is the best place to post. If not, please feel free to delete or move this post! :D

I come up with this idea when I'm reflecting my introduction to Les Mis. The very first Les Mis summary I've heard was in only one sentence, told by a friend who read the abridged novel in primary school. The summary she gave me was "it's a story about a man who adopts the daughter of a dying woman who he doesn't know, and goes through the adversities of life together with the girl." She explained that she was too young to understand other stuff in the book, but the father-daughter bond between Valjean and Cosette actually moved her to tears. Then she suggested that we should watch the Les Mis movie, and everything started from there. That is obviously a problematic summary (poor Javert, he doesn't even make an appearance :lol:), but it has influenced me a lot. I was made a Valjean fangirl almost immediately, and I still am! My friend and I later became so picky about musical Fantines that we've never been able to find an ideal one. On the other hand, it really shows the power of great works. You can still love Les Mis even if you know nothing about French history, aren't actually philosophical person or don't care about politics. There's always something that evokes your thoughts or emotions, however trivial it may be. :wink:

Sorry for the digression. :D So how will you summarize Les Mis, book or musical, in one sentence? It can be a carefully-worded serious summary or just whatever you think sounds funny, like "it's a story of a policeman who spends his life chasing a criminal, without knowing that he's actually the mayor". :mrgreen:
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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby Mlle Enjolras » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:57 am

This sounds like a fun challenge!

Jean Valjean, while being chased by Javert, adopts a daughter, who grows up to fall in love with Marius, who is loved by Éponine, the daughter of the inn-keepers she is staying with and who is fighting for the freedom of France with a group of students leaded by Enjolras, from a dying lady named Fantine.

That sure is a wonky sentence, haha. I used to translate a lot of Latin and that often has constructions like this. This would be a lot more understandable in Latin due to all the cases but translations always end up like this...

Edit: I just realized how arrogant that sounds. :/ That was not my intention at all, I'll have you know that taking Latin was a mistake and I was terrible at it. xD
Last edited by Mlle Enjolras on Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby Gervais » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:35 pm

A long, rambling game of "Bread, Wed, Dead"

"The son of a father to whom history will accord certain attenuating circumstances, but also as worthy of esteem as that
father had been of blame; possessing all private virtues and many public virtues; careful of his health, of his fortune,
of his person, of his affairs, knowing the value of a minute and not always the value of a year; sober, serene,
peaceable, patient; a good man and a good prince; sleeping with his wife, and having in his palace lackeys charged with
the duty of showing the conjugal bed to the bourgeois, an ostentation of the regular sleeping-apartment which had become
useful after the former illegitimate displays of the elder branch; knowing all the languages of Europe, and, what is
more rare, all the languages of all interests, and speaking them; an admirable representative of the “middle class,” but
outstripping it, and in every way greater than it; possessing excellent sense, while appreciating the blood from which
he had sprung, counting most of all on his intrinsic worth, and, on the question of his race, very particular, declaring
himself Orleans and not Bourbon; thoroughly the first Prince of the Blood Royal while he was still only a Serene
Highness, but a frank bourgeois from the day he became king; diffuse in public, concise in private; reputed, but not
proved to be a miser; at bottom, one of those economists who are readily prodigal at their own fancy or duty; lettered,
but not very sensitive to letters; a gentleman, but not a chevalier; simple, calm, and strong; adored by his family and
his household; a fascinating talker, an undeceived statesman, inwardly cold, dominated by immediate interest, always
governing at the shortest range, incapable of rancor and of gratitude, making use without mercy of superiority on
mediocrity, clever in getting parliamentary majorities to put in the wrong those mysterious unanimities which mutter
dully under thrones; unreserved, sometimes imprudent in his lack of reserve, but with marvellous address in that
imprudence; fertile in expedients, in countenances, in masks; making France fear Europe and Europe France!
Incontestably fond of his country, but preferring his family; assuming more domination than authority and more authority than dignity, a disposition which has this unfortunate property, that as it turns everything to success, it admits of
ruse and does not absolutely repudiate baseness, but which has this valuable side, that it preserves politics from
violent shocks, the state from fractures, and society from catastrophes; minute, correct, vigilant, attentive,
sagacious, indefatigable; contradicting himself at times and giving himself the lie; bold against Austria at Ancona,
obstinate against England in Spain, bombarding Antwerp, and paying off Pritchard; singing the Marseillaise with
conviction, inaccessible to despondency, to lassitude, to the taste for the beautiful and the ideal, to daring
generosity, to Utopia, to chimeras, to wrath, to vanity, to fear; possessing all the forms of personal intrepidity; a
general at Valmy; a soldier at Jemappes; attacked eight times by regicides and always smiling; brave as a grenadier,
courageous as a thinker; uneasy only in the face of the chances of a European shaking up, and unfitted for great
political adventures; always ready to risk his life, never his work; disguising his will in influence, in order that he
might be obeyed as an intelligence rather than as a king; endowed with observation and not with divination; not very
attentive to minds, but knowing men, that is to say requiring to see in order to judge; prompt and penetrating good
sense, practical wisdom, easy speech, prodigious memory; drawing incessantly on this memory, his only point of
resemblance with Caesar, Alexander, and Napoleon; knowing deeds, facts, details, dates, proper names, ignorant of
tendencies, passions, the diverse geniuses of the crowd, the interior aspirations, the hidden and obscure uprisings of
souls, in a word, all that can be designated as the invisible currents of consciences; accepted by the surface, but
little in accord with France lower down; extricating himself by dint of tact; governing too much and not enough; his own
first minister; excellent at creating out of the pettiness of realities an obstacle to the immensity of ideas; mingling
a genuine creative faculty of civilization, of order and organization, an indescribable spirit of proceedings and
chicanery, the founder and lawyer of a dynasty; having something of Charlemagne and something of an attorney; in short,
a lofty and original figure, a prince who understood how to create authority in spite of the uneasiness of France, and
power in spite of the jealousy of Europe, — Louis Philippe will be classed among the eminent men of his century, and
would be ranked among the most illustrious governors of history had he loved glory but a little, and if he had had the
sentiment of what is great to the same degree as the feeling for what is useful."

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby deHavilland » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:58 am

I like to think the reason we haven't seen you around for so long, Gervais, is that you were writing and perfecting that. ;)
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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby Gervais » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:28 am

Yep. It took me over a month to copy and paste one of Marius' rants from someone else's transcription. :lol:

"The peas, Woyzeck. The PEAS."

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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby 23623 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:08 pm

@Gervais: :shock: :shock:
When I started this thread, I wasn't expecting somthing where almost every line contains some words I don't know. Time for English practice! *quitely takes out her dictionary*

I remembered a recent writing assignment in which we were asked to "briefly" summarize a book. I ended up writing a summary of LM in about 200 words because I mercilessly cut everyone who's not Valjean, Javert, Bishop, Fantine, Marius, Cosette or Thenardier! :lol:
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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby Rachel » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:43 pm

Man steals bread, all hell breaks loose.

Clearly, I have fantastic luck in the dating field.

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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby CC21106 » Sun May 07, 2017 5:09 pm

Rachel wrote:Man steals bread, all hell breaks loose.
Don't mess with Texas! We mess up enough by ourselves.
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Re: Summarize Les Mis in one sentence

Postby CeridwenLynne » Wed May 10, 2017 6:16 pm

Rachel wrote:Man steals bread, all hell breaks loose.

Great! :D
" He makes no vain sacrifice who fights for a cause. All here are ready to die so that our brothers may live as free men. Liberty... sweet liberty... come fight with those who defend you." ----Enjolras.

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