Unanswered Questions

Meta related to characters, plots, or other elements introduced by Victor Hugo in Les Misérables.
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Acaila
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Acaila » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:29 pm

Common mass grave with no rites I believe for the bodies. I know someone has posted about it reasonably recently.
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
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CeridwenLynne
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby CeridwenLynne » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:15 pm

That is sad! :cry: I would hope that the authorities would have at least given the families the chance to claim the bodies of their sons to give them a proper burial.
" 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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MmeBahorel
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby MmeBahorel » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:33 am

It's June. During a cholera epidemic. How could there possibly be time (in a public health crisis believed to be driven by the nasty miasmas of a festering city that will be made worse by the advancing summer under this theory) to notify anyone of anything? Even in town, we're talking a need to keep a large number of bodies for at least two days in some sort of presentable fashion. And when a large number of the dead appear to be not workers, and the vast majority of students are from out of town (not to mention it's well known that the "legal guardian" most have is someone paid just to sign the paperwork and never actually meet the student, so those records are useless for this purpose), you're looking at sorting the bodies far more carefully for display than just based on which ones still have recognizable facial features.

The reasonable thing to do is search the bodies, collect all identity papers, and do the paperwork later. (I imagine someone had to process death certificates for all identified bodies - the ministry of the interior wouldn't particularly want any revolutionaries unaccounted for in their extensive records.) You have more options in February thanks to the cold.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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CeridwenLynne
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby CeridwenLynne » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:24 pm

Thanks or the great explanation of why the bodies were likely buried in a mass grave. I keep forgetting that we are talking about 19th century France in the middle of summer.
" 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.

EnjysVest
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby EnjysVest » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:28 am

What about Ma'am Hucheloup, "Fricassee," and "Chowder"? They were hiding in Corinth making lint during the attack, but I don't remember reading about them after that. Do you think they were killed during "Orestes Fasting and Pylades Drunk"?

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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:21 am

I think they were able to flee the scene.
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Acaila
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Acaila » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:33 am

Wasn't there some comment about them taking advantage of a lull at some point during the night to make good their escape? Don't have the Brick to hand unfortunately to check it out.
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
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"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
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Aurelia Combeferre
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:56 am

"...all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights."

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Acaila
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Acaila » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:34 pm

Hooray! I always panic about my memory for quotes these days :oops: Thanks for finding that!
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby EnjysVest » Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:59 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot! :oops: Thanks

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Acaila
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Acaila » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:02 pm

No probs, I often find it difficult to find bits in those barricade chapters :D
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

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Jehans Rose
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Jehans Rose » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:12 am

One thing that I kept wondering at was where in the barricades does Victor Hugo actually come in at. The way he wrote some of the passages, he made it out to like he was actually there-we all know that the barricades really happened and so I guess my unanswered questions are: Just how real were the actual barricade boys and where does he draw the line between fiction and reality?
"They heard a manly voice cry out: 'Vive la France! Long Live the Future!'
There was a flash and an explosion."

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Acaila
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Acaila » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:59 am

Well Hugo was present in the streets of Paris during the June Rebellion, though he wasn't personally involved in the actual insurrection. There's a few details on that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Rebel ... 3.A9rables
Les Amis, as with so many of the characters in the Brick, are based on real people to some extent. You'll see the link mentions the Society of the Rights of Man. Enjolras is based on a revolutionary leader from the June Rebellion called Charles Jeanne who actually survived the barricades and was put on trial afterwards. Some of the others are suggested to be based on Hugo's literary friends rather than on people from 1832, like Bahorel and Prouvaire are meant to be based on Petrus Borel and Gerard de Nerval.
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

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MmeBahorel
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby MmeBahorel » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:10 pm

In terms of actual revolutionaries, Hugo had next to no direct connections. Borel and du Seigneur were on the Romantic avant-garde at a time when Hugo was still approved by the monarchy and using those connections as much as possible (he had an actual royal pension that he thoroughly enjoyed; these guys were hippies). The Hernanistes weren't his actual friends; they were worshipers. Jeanne had a public trial that was covered extensively. I think some issues discussed in the novel are related directly the 1834 massacre in the rue Transnonain - another failed revolution, and the army went into a house in the rue Transnonain where some revolutionaries were supposed to have holed up, and they fired on the floor where it was assumed the revolutionaries were. There were no revolutionaries in there. 12 were killed, a number of others were wounded. Women were among the victims. It was covered extensively, public opinion was entirely against the soldiers. A lot of the things Hugo talks about, in the way he talks about them, require no real research or interviews - that was done at the time, by the newspapers and pamphleteers.

Hugo's real experience of barricades was 1848, February and June. In February, he, and a lot of other rich people, went touristing. From February, and this intended supportive "let's go stare at the war", is pretty much where his "good barricade" notions come from. the June Days is from where a bunch of "not good barricade" notions come from. He believed that the June Days was the absolute wrong way to go about the issue being protested ("how much government assistance should be provided" and "how should we determine the effectiveness of said assistance" were the actual issues: the government, under Louis Blanc's insistence, had set up a series of national workshops to deal with the issue of mass unemployment. These were generally poorly run, there wasn't actually enough work to bother with nationalized industry, and the whole thing was a money-losing proposition that was frequently paying men to go to a place where there was no actual work, as opposed to paying men to work. And the national workshops were not on a scale to even be paying subsistance to the number of people who needed it, anyway. So the government shut the whole project down, arguably without taking enough time to set it up properly or to let the experiment run a reasonable number of months to work out kinks and get some actual data. The workshops were shuttered in June, the working classes took the closure as a sign that penny-pinching businessmen had hijacked their revolution, and boom: June Days.)

Hugo felt the working classes were pure at heart, but that they were easily led astray from their better nature. The June Days was an example of this: they had overthrown a tyrant in February, but now they were being dragged along by socialist (or even communist!) demogogues. But the working classes were generally pure at heart and could be saved, and maybe they weren't 100% wrong in demanding that their needs be addressed along with the needs of commerce. So he went with a National Guard unit from barricade to barricade, begging the revolutionaries to surrender. When they didn't surrender, the National Guard unit would fire on them.

For the novel, with the benefit of hindsight post-Louis Napoleon's coup, Hugo is trying to erase what he actually did in favour of returning to and mostly emphasising the "good barricade".

I think the key thing in here, with Hugo and revolution, is to look at how much "screentime" Feuilly gets. The character is very loosely based on a man named Albert, who had been a fanmaker and was elected to the legislative assembly at the same time Hugo was. There's nothing there. Revolution is made by the educated working classes - the men apprenticed to decent-paying trades, who traditionally have been able to afford to get married rather than just shacking up with someone until the relationship collapses, who are able to set up their children with apprenticeships in turn. The educated working classes do not appear as characters in this novel. Hugo has to default to the bourgeois students who made up a much lesser proportion of combatants because those are the people he understands and can portray sympathetically. Revolution isn't made by or for the Misérables, the people with nothing, though they may provide boots on the ground when it comes time. It is made - organized- by the people who have less than they think they have earned and by their allies.

Hugo has lots of feels, we can tell. We can also tell, from the way in which he expresses his feels and the characters he decides to spend his time with, that he has way more feels than he has personal experience.

I think I've gone on at more length on this stuff in the read through threads for the appropriate books.
What kind of literature and what kind of life is the same question. - Tom Stoppard

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Jehans Rose
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Re: Unanswered Questions

Postby Jehans Rose » Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks for the clarification. Hugo was a genius to give such realism to his work, he kind of reminds me of Gaston Leroux. I once read that the Phantom of the Opera was, to some extent, a true story and he had cleverly blended fiction with reality.
"They heard a manly voice cry out: 'Vive la France! Long Live the Future!'
There was a flash and an explosion."


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