I'm Currently Reading: Les Miserables

Why I Chose This Book: Les Miserables is a highly recommended book by both my mother and father. Upon hearing that I did not have a book to read for Mr.Dean's class, they nearly demanded I read the book, so I decided to satisfy them and my interests in reading it.
I plan to see the play this coming April, and am very estatic to see it.

The wonderful cover of the Book

The revolutionaries stand up and proclaim that they will not be slaves again as noted in the song "Do you hear the people sing".


Being that it is 100% related to the book I'm reading, here is a nice video of all the past Jean Valjeans (the main character of les mes) singing the most significant song in the entire play.

Being that the story is about the French revolution, I find this necessary.

If it where not for this amazing contribution to mandkind known as bread, the entire conflict in Les Mesirables would be non existent.

The Miserable people, they cry in the streets
Conflicts created over flour and yeast
Their goal: become like the east
Take up arms; until the fighting has ceased

Jean Valjean, the man of working for hours
Pursued for his life over some wheat and flour
Javer, the hunter, makes Jean his prey.
He hunts this absurdly innocent man day by day.

Cossette, the fair and beautiful maid
Stuck with the innkeeper, thenardiers their proffesion.
She loves the man, Marius, his name.
Epipone dotes him, shying her confession.

They revolt, they sing the song of angry men.
Jean prays to the lord that he take him and let Marius live
They promise that they will never be slaves again.
A fight worth fighting for is all they can give.

Javer, the hated, evil Javer
Sees Jean Valjean and right then and there
Instead of Javer capturing Jean
Jean captures Javer
and to spare him of being killed he takes him elsewhere
he convinces them well with a shot of his gun
and he returns and tells the men that the job has been done
but Javer had been spared
oh evil Javer
of his life he is stripped, though unharmed he is there.

The Miserable people, they cry in the streets
Conflicts created over flour and yeast
Their goal: become like the east
Take up arms; until the fighting has ceased

Here is an article/page that I looked at that talks about the French Revolution. The most appropriate excerpt from it that I could find is featured below, but you may find the full thing here.

"The National Guard, or citizen’s militia, was formed spontaneously by the people of Paris on July 13, 1789, the day before the storming of the Bastille. Representatives from the bourgeois (Third Estate) secretly organized 48,000 soldiers to control the popular movement although these soldiers were told by their superiors to act only under the orders of the king. The National Guard was hastily adopted with the dual objective of defending the city of Paris from the military threats outside the city as well as from the dangers of revolution in the city. On many occasions the Guard sided with the people of Paris. For example under the leadership of Lafayette during the March to Versailles, the National Guard followed a group of women to Versailles as they demanded bread. However in some cases the Guard still upheld the wishes of the king and put down uprisings staged by the people of Paris. One such instance occurred on July 17, 1789. In this case the Guard attacked a peaceful group of some 50,000 people gathered at the Champ de Mars, a military parade ground. These people were gathered to sign a petition to dethrone the king, something the National Guard normally would have supported. Reports indicated that some individuals in the mob threw rocks at the men in Guard, which in turn made some of the Guard retaliate and shoot into the group of Parisians.
On the day of its establishment the National Guard had 13,200 men registered and equipped to fight. In the early stages each district determined the guidelines as to who could join the Guard. In most cases there were property and residential restrictions, and the men had to have good employment records, a requirement which eliminated a great majority of the population from consideration.
At the time of the storming of the Bastille, the National Guard was unsure what to do. The Paris mob fought without organization or planning, but with the bait of ammunition they persuaded some National Guardsmen to bring a cannon to the Bastille. Once the raid began on the Bastille more of the Guard turned against the people and attempted to stop the rioting crowd. In the end, the Guard did not have great success and the Parisians ultimately won that day."

Short Character Analysis:Javert
Javert is the policeman pursuing Jean Valjean. He has sworn to capture him if it means his life, but I feel he knows deep down that Valjean is a good man. Being that Jean Valjean was only arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, it's not like he is a hardened criminal that fries up people's limbs and eats them. No, he just stole a loaf of bread. And when he is jailed, he escapes. Javert is now put in charge for looking for him.
Although Javert comes across Valjean several times, he never captures him. Being that Javert grew up in a jail, he tells Valjean that although it was a small crime, Valjean will never change. At the end, the tables turn, and it is the revolutionaries and Valjean that capture Javert. They decide to kill him, as a traitor to France, but Valjean begs for them to leave him and Javert alone, so that Valjean may kill him. Javert is now in quite the predicament. Expecting Valjean to kill him, he is suprised when Valjean lets him go. Filled with guilt for thinking that Valjean was the bad guy the whole time, Javert can't handle the stress. Everything he ever thought he knew was a lie. Valjean was a good man after all. Javert understands this and is filled with anguish and sorrow. Javert's wonderful performance ends with the only way fit for him, suicide.

Javert (Norm Lewis)

Here is a video of a critical song in the play called "Who Am I?"

I dreamed a dream (yet another wonderful song in the play):

I dreamed a dream in time gone by

When hope was high

And life worth living

I dreamed that love would never die

I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid

And dreams were made and used and wasted

There was no ransom to be paid

No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night

With their voices soft as thunder

As they tear your hope apart

As they turn your dream to shame

(Whole thing here)