Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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What are the reasons that Gavroche, Jean Valjean, and Eponine go to the barricades in the Rue Saint-Denis?

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Nona Stiltner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Each of these three characters have their own unique reasons for arriving at the barricades. Gavroche's life is directly affected by the violence of capitalism, of wealth disparity, and of the negative effects of industrialization. Gavroche helps build a barricade as a participant in the uprising against the state. Eponine, Gavroche's sister, becomes obsessed with Marius but reluctantly agrees to help him find Cosette, who he loves dearly. At the barricades Marius participates in the insurrection against the military. Eponine joins Marius, hoping to save him from dying at the barricades. Jean Valjean hurriedly arrives at the barricades after learning that Marius, distraught over losing Cosette, is planning to fight until he dies at the barricades. Jean Valjean proves to be an excellent fighter and ends up saving Marius's life.

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Gavroche, a streat urchin, got caught up in the movement of Revolution and went to the Rue Saint-Denis to help build a barracade to fight in the Revolution to defend his poverty. He was then sent by Enjolras to spy on the other streets.

Eponine went to the Rue Saint-Denis, both to help fight at the barracade and to be with Marius because she was in love with him. Eponine was killed putting a hand over a musket barrel aimed at Marius.

Jean Valjean went to the the barricades in the Rue Saint-Denis because Gavroche delivered to him and Cosette a letter written by Marius declairing his love for Cosette and explaining that their marriage was impossible because his grandfather would not give consent and stating that Marius was resigned to die. Jean Valjean went to the barricades to rescue Marius and bring him to Cossette

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