Rachel wrote:I dunno. I'd say the fact they were unnecessary makes them more necessary, if that makes any sense.
Rachel wrote:And Madame Thénardier's death served a purpose, at least to me. She's so often described as a monster like creature, so many things that make her seem like a cockroach and therefore nearly impossible to kill. But she dies of something so normal, so boring, so natural, that it feels like Hugo is saying something about the monsters of society, and of not just the monsters we create in our minds, but the heroes as well. Like, when the brave, good Amis die, most of them die grouped in one sentence, just "so and so and so and so and so and so were all dead". Them and Madame Thénardier all died in such a boring way. Because we build our heroes to be invincible Gods, and we build our villains to be invincible monsters. We make our heroes Zeus and our villains Kronos, and that only our Gods can kill our Titans. But the people we build into Gods, as well as the people we make villains are only human, and just as flimsy as we are. And that that's important to remember. We're so afraid of the people we make out to be mammoths of men and women that we forget they're just human. We're just as powerful as they are. We can take our monsters down ourselves, we don't need to wait around for a hero to show up.
Rachel wrote:Like, what Marius says in ECaET (Oh, my friends, my friends, don't ask me what your sacrifice was for) makes a lot of sense to me. Like, what did they really die for? Did France change at all after they all laid down their lives for a people who had abandoned them? No. Did anyone remember them? No. Did the people of Paris, the poor and downtrodden, who they were fighting for, even care? Nope. The whole rebellion was such a waste, a waste of human lives, of potential, of energy, of excitement, of youth, of so many things. Every death of every Amis is unnecessary, but that's what makes it so heartbreaking and perfect. Because to change around Oreal's slogan, because it's not worth it. And the fact that nothing changed is necessary to the plot, so every Amis has to be dead, in my opinion. The waste is necessary to Hugo's point.
Rachel wrote:M. Mabeuf's death was so pointless. It was for the sake of raising a flag. It was a waste of a life, but it was for the sake of a victory. That a small victory, like M. Mabeuf's raising of the flag when all of the Amis were too afraid to do it, that willed them to keep fighting. That that flag was raised, despite the cost. They won something there, even if it was tiny. M. Mabeuf died to keep the revolution alive. The raising and waving of the flag all throughout history has been done by martyrs like him, but the martyrs who are forgotten by history are just as important as Napoleon or Cleopatra or Caesar. The ones who kept the revolution alive, even for a minute by raising the flag at the expense of their lives are the ones who save us all, who keep us going no matter how tough it gets. And Mabeuf deserves credit for being one of those martyrs.
Gervais wrote:Actually Em, Courfeyrac and Combeferre would be the first two on my list of Neccesary Amis Deaths under Enjolras and Grantaire. They complete the triumvirate along with Enjolras, and Courfeyrac's death is probably the one that affects Marius the most because he was the closest Ami to him. (Courfeyrac as the Best Man at the wedding is fanon, I'm pretty sure, but it would actually make sense in a modern AU at the least, because that's almost the only person who could fill the role.)
Ursula_F wrote:My vote for unnecessary death may be controversial: Jean Valjean. I'm definitely not saying his death is BAD - it's very bittersweet and moving in the novel, and I love how, in the movie, the Bishop is waiting for him. That's lovely and awesome! So I'm not complaining or anything! But after everything he'd been through, would it have been SO terrible to let him go back with Marius and Cosette after reconciling with them, and have a peaceful old age with his family around him? It broke my heart in the book when Cosette was telling him how he'd have his own room, and his own part of the garden, and he and she would be gardening together in the summer, and he'd taste her strawberries and she'd check out his roses, and in the evenings he would play cards with Marius' grandfather, etc. It was such a sweet idea - I would have loved to see that happen, instead of him dying. I AM glad he died happy and reconciled with them, but it was still SOOOO sad!
So I don't think it would have ruined anything to let him live. It's not like Javert, who really HAD to commit suicide to be true to his character.
deHavilland wrote:One could say that death is Valjean's "happily ever after." His task of caring for Cosette has reached its logical conclusion: she's married and has a husband to care for her, and now he gets to cash in his well-earned voucher for One Eternal Reward in the Wild Blue Yonder.
ThatInspector wrote:I'm fairly certain there's a movie version that just ends with the Marius/Cosette wedding, and Valjean DOESN'T die...but I can't remember which one...
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