St. Denis: Summary and Analysis
Eponine - SummaryMarius, having watched the entire scene, leaves the house just after Javert and goes to Courfeyrac’s. Courfeyrac has moved from the Left Bank to the Rue de la Verrerie, a neighborhood where there are more revolutionists. The following morning, Marius returns home, pays his rent, and leaves without leaving a forwarding address. Ma’am Bougon thinks he is involved with the criminals who were arrested the previous night. Marius leaves for two reasons. One is that it is the place where he first encountered “a social deformity perhaps more hideous than the evil rich man: the evil poor.” The other is that he does not want to be involved in a trial. He does not want to have to testify against Thénardier.
He is unhappy because he now realizes that he doesn’t even know the name of the girl he loves. Finally, he is once again poor because he has stopped working and “nothing is more dangerous than discontinued labor; it is a habit lost. A habit easy to abandon, difficult to resume.”
Marius does not stay with Courfeyrac. Rather, he lives on the Boulevard de la Sante, the seventh tree down from the Rue Croulebarbe. He sits on the bank of a brook, frozen in a state of inaction. He is sad, and his idle state makes the loss of the girl even more difficult to bear. He watches the women washing clothes and notices the birds singing and is pleased by the happy sounds they make.
He is approached by Eponine who, despite the fact that her clothes are dirtier and more ragged than ever, looks beautiful. She tells him that she has been in jail and has been looking for him for six weeks since she was released. She offers to mend his shirt and tells him that she can make him happy. She reveals that she has the address of the young lady Marius is missing. Of course, he is thrilled and asks her to take him there. She agrees to lead him but warns him not to follow her too closely because it would not be good for him to be seen in public with a woman like her.
The House in the Rue Plumet - Summary
Touissant: the servant of Jean and Cosette
Jean Valjean, Cosette, and a servant named Toussaint, an old woman Jean rescued from a hospital, live in a small house on a deserted street in Saint Germain. Built as a summer house by the president of the Parlement of Paris the century before, it has an acre of land and a huge iron gate which faces the street. At the rear of the property is a small building with only two rooms and a cellar which was originally built to hide a child and a nurse. It has a secret passage which leads to a building about a third of a mile away. Jean rented the property in October 1829 and had the secret passage restored.
Though Jean was happy in the convent, he left after Old Fauchelevent died because he felt that Cosette should have the chance to have a more normal life. He told the reverend prioress that he had received a small inheritance and gave her 5000 francs for the five years Cosette had spent there.
When they leave the convent, he takes with him the little box Cosette refers to as “the inseparable.” He always carries the key with him and from then on always has the box with him. He uses the name Ultimus Fauchelevent. Afraid now to go out in public, Jean also rents two other properties in distant quarters of the city in case he needs to change his address quickly.
Cosette and the servant live in the main house, and Jean lives a spartan life in a cottage in the back yard although he does eat with Cosette. Each day they go for a walk in a remote part of the Luxembourg, and every Sunday they go to church.
The mail they receive is tax bills and notices from the National Guard addressed to M. Fauchelevent. Jean would put on a uniform several times a year and perform his guard duties. He does this willingly because it provides a good disguise. At 60, he could have been legally exempt, but he looks like a man in his fifties and welcomes the opportunity to be a part of society and still hide his...
(The entire section is 3,642 words.)