(Oh my! 0_0 Oh, incidentally, are you married and annoyed with your marriage or are you unmarried and annoyed about the expectation that you get married?)
All right, kiddies! Today's rant is about ENJOLRAS! Can you say Enjolras? ME NEITHER!
No, seriously. I don't speak French, so I usually don't even try and say "in-JOEL-riss.' Yes, I'm so Southern. But, I mean, his name isn't even stated in the musical, which is how I learned how to pronounce many of the other names.
But this rant isn't about his name, it's about how much I really, really dislike that guy and can't understand his popularity. I was already familiar with the musical (at least the OBC and TAC) when I first read the book, and Enjolras was one of my favourite characters. Heck, he gets all the best songs, he wears a kick-butt vest, he holds up a gun, and he's all excitable and charismatic and stufff. I love Michael Maguire AND Anthony Warlow the same (sorry, guys, I think they have different strengths and weaknesses, and Mr. Maguire's awesome vibrato and emotion in his voice/performance balance out his nasalness and flatness).
Everyone kept telling me that in the book, Enj was way cooler than the flat GI Joe from the musical (pretty much all the characters in the musical are flat except for Valjean, who is wonderfully portrayed, and Javert), and I assumed it was kind of like the Harry Potter book-to-screen transition, where all of the characters lose their personalities.
Then I read the book. My first thought was, "Mmm, Enjolras is boring. Dunno why people like him." I mean, what's the fun of a guy with no hormones, no sense of humour, and no mercy or compassion for those around him? Sure, he's handsome, but he's not even a person, he's a well-formed ice sculpture.
I basically ignored Enjolras when I read the book and focused in on Marius, who is a bit of a sentimentaldork but still a lovely character and an interesting mixture of heroic and timid, Courfeyrac, whom I adore, Grantaire, who is awesome, and Bossuet and Joly, who are adorkable (adorable and dorky). But because I'm doing a modernized, Americanized Les Misérables story, I reread the book a few days ago, and I noticed something:
Enjolras is the least pleasant character I think I've ever laid my eyes on. At least Javert has a sense of humour (however subtle) and emotions. At least Thenardier... well, actually Thenardier's kind of awesome. He's a tiggeriffic villain, and I have a feeling that if he wasn't so ugly, I'd be kind of attracted to him. At least Montparnasse is friendly to Gavroche and has an actual personality (I adore Montparnasse). Any villain from any book or movie has more emotion, personality, grounded realism, or sense of humour than Enjolras. (Even Voldemort makes jokes.) I just don't get it.
Enjolras kills people with no flicker of emotion, then sermonizes on it. He shows no fear right before he's killed, no happiness about anything, no respect or regard for those around him. He only cares about The People, but doesn't give a fig about people. He expects everyone else to be exactly like him, will listen to no other point of view, and he never makes a single joke or laughs. He takes himself incredibly seriously, even more seriously than Javert takes himself.
I think the most telling way to describe him was when Combeferre urged those with families to go home and no one does. Then Enjolras goes, "I order you." And Marius says, "I beseech you."
I see no redeeming qualities in Enjolras except for being handsome, brave, and devoted, which can be said for pretty much any villain. I have no idea why so many people like him, how anyone can stomach to write fanfiction about him, how people can possibly fantasize about someone so inhuman and cold. Basically, I hate that guy, and this is my rant. Because I've commented about my distate for Enj on other boards, and I figured I might as well put it all in one place.
Enjolras is my least-favourite fictional character. Thank you.
I am playing the Queen of France right now in a play. Try not to decapitate me.