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Free Study Guide-Les Miserables by Victor Hugo-Free Book Notes Summary
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BOOK SECOND: Eponine

Summary

Marius moves out of the Gorbeau House and back into Courfeyrac’s room. He discovers that Thenardier has been arrested with the other robbers and is in solitary confinement. Marius begins sending him 5 francs per week. Meanwhile, he roams the streets, unable to think of anything but the girl he loves. He doesn’t know her real name but had heard Thenardier call her “the Lark.” One day his wandering leads him across a field with one pond and a wooded area at one end, rather like a park. Marius overhears another wanderer call it the “field of the lark” and resolves to return to it every day.

Javert is frustrated because he failed to catch both the victim of the Gorbeau affair and Montparnasse. On the way to prison, Claquesous also escapes. Brujon is let out of solitary in hopes that he will talk, but he doesn’t. Instead he manages to get notes to Eponine who waits for her father outside the prison.


Eponine is as street wise as her brother and is capable of watching without being watched herself. She hunts up Marius to tell him that she knows the address of “the girl.” Eponine leads him to the street where Cosette and Valjean are living.

Notes

Marius’ obsession with Cosette is parallel to Valjean’s except that Valjean, who actually knows the girl, has more reason. Still Valjean has a haunting sense that Marius is still in the picture somewhere. His relationship with Cosette has become a little stifling; when he sees a chain gang passing by their house one day, it is as if his past is catching up to him and will ultimately separate him from Cosette no matter what he does. He seems to feel like he owns her, an idea that has resulted partially from having saved her from the Thenardier’s and also from his own changed life which is an extension of her influence.

Poor Eponine, meanwhile, is in love with Marius herself and does everything she can to please him even to finding the new location of Cosette. Marius is so mentally and emotionally wrapped up in his ideas of love for Cosette that he doesn’t even notice Eponine’s pitiful attempts to get his attention.

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