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Free Study Guide-Les Miserables by Victor Hugo-Free Book Notes Summary
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BOOK SIXTH: The White Night

Summary

The wedding of Cosette and Marius takes place on the night of Mardi Gras. On the way to the wedding, the carriages of the wedding party pass those of the masked revelers traveling in opposite directions. Two of the masked persons are Azelma and her father Thenardier who recognizes Valjean. He tells Azelma to follow the wedding party and find out who they are and where they have gone.

The wedding supper is a gala occasion, but Valjean keeps himself apart. He had given the honor of escorting Cosette to Gillenormand as his arm is in a sling-the result, he says, of a mild injury. Valjean also manages to slip away before he supper begins by claiming that his arm is bothering him and he wishes to retire early. He spends the night weeping and agonizing over his final and ultimate self-sacrifice. As Javert is dead, he should be free to take the room Marius has offered and live happily with the Gillenormand family in peace and comfort. He cannot bring himself to live the lie that such action would require; he also fears the possibility that he might somehow bring his past upon the young people and ultimately cause them harm.


Notes

Valjean has successfully given Cosette the name of an extinct family. However, he knows that to sign the marriage documents under the name of Fauchelevant himself would risk casting a shadow of fraud on the marriage. The man never stops thinking; he is never for a second unaware of his true identity, and yet he is so disciplined that he does not give himself away until he is ready to do so.

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