Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why does Marius leave his grandfather's home and refuse money from him?

Expert Answers info

Ollie Kertzmann, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Professor

bookM.A. from Radford University

calendarEducator since 2017

write1,350 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Marius rejects his grandfather and his money because his grandfather allowed him to have a negative opinion of his father and kept them apart by threatening to disinherit Marius otherwise.

After Marius's mother died, his grandfather put his father in a tough position. Victor Hugo writes:

In 1815, Madame Pontmercy, an admirable woman in every sense, by the way, lofty in sentiment and rare, and worthy of her husband, died, leaving a child. This child had been the colonel’s joy in his solitude; but the grandfather had imperatively claimed his grandson, declaring that if the child were not given to him he would disinherit him. The father had yielded in the little one’s interest, and had transferred his love to flowers.

Marius grew up knowing nothing about his father. Only when he was an adult did he hear negative things about him, and he comes to "think of his father only with shame and with a pain at his heart." His father isn't a bad man, but still his father-in-law took Marius—who appeared to be one of the only things that made him happy after the death of his wife—away from him. When Marius discovers this about his grandfather and discovers that he aligns with his father's political beliefs, they have a huge fight, and Marius refuses to be around him after that. Hugo writes:

"My father," retorted Marius, with downcast eyes and a severe air, "was a humble and heroic man, who served the Republic and France gloriously, who was great in the greatest history that men have ever made, who lived in the bivouac for a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 524 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Noble Kautzer, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from University of North Georgia

calendarEducator since 2006

write360 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial