collectingbees wrote:Point: I think that Éponine has been dealt a huge disservice by the musical, and this disservice was deliberate.
She has definitely been done a disservice by the musical, as you so rightly said. The songs she gets to sing are lovely but I do feel like cringing at half the things she says e.g. "every word that he says is a dagger in me". I hate the way they've taken such a fascinating character and made her the epitome of teenage angst. It annoys me a lot that so many people claim to identify
with her when what I find so brilliant about her is that I can't identify with her or her situation at all. I don't, however, think that it was deliberate. What I imagine happened was that when the production team behind Les Mis were planning it, they had a conversation that went something like this...
Person 1: You know, the Thenardiers in the book are really a bit to evil for our audiences. We don't want them to seem to cruel and sadistic. I say we make them into panto type clowns and then everybody will like them. Well, those who aren't scared of clowns anyway.
Person 2: That's a good idea. If the musical's too dark no one will want to see it. First rule of musical marketing.
Person 1: Exactly. On that note, how about we have Marius and Valjean getting on like a house fire. Lets have Valjean see him like a son, if God had granted him one hehe.
Person 2: That's good, I never liked their relationship in the book. I only skimmed through it, mind you. Those good lines by the way. I may have to use them.
Person 1:Why thank you. You know, I never liked Marius's relationship with the Thenardier girl. She was in love with him y'know.
Person 2: SHE WAS! I thought she was just a creepy plot device. Now we have a whole love triangle to exploit.
Person 1: I hadn't thought of that. I just thought she was symbolic or something.
Person 2: She is! She is the symbol of unrequited love and will be forevermore. You say her relationship with Marius isn't too good. How about we make them best friends. She can be like the girl next door. Everybody loves that trope.
And thus Musical!Éponine was created.