Les Misérables Cosette: Questions and Answers
by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables book cover
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Cosette: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Jean return to prison? What is he convicted of and what is his sentence?

2. How does Jean escape?

3. How does Jean fulfill a promise to Fantine?

4. What does Cosette give Jean that he has never had before?

5. In the first section of the book, the author compares Fantine to a lark. What bird images does he use in the second section?

6. Why do people refer to Jean as the “beggar who gives alms”?

7. Why does Jean abruptly leave Gorbeau House?

8. What is Jean’s greatest fear in being recaptured?

9. How does Jean escape from Javert and his men?

10. How do Jean and Fauchelevant convince the prioress and the reverend mother to allow Jean and Cosette to stay at the convent?

1. Jean reveals his identity when he testifies at Father Champ¬mathieu’s trial. He is found guilty of assault and robbery and condemned to death. His sentence is later commuted to hard labor for life.

2. After climbing a rigging to save a sailor who has lost his balance, Jean plunges into the sea and is presumed to have drowned.

3. He rescues Cosette from the Thénardiers.

4. For the first time in his life, Jean has someone to love.

5. Jean and Cosette are referred to as the owl and the wren when they find refuge in Gorbeau House. Jean is wise, and Cosette is small and helpless like a little wren. Gorbeau House becomes their nest, a place of safety and solace.

6. Jean’s shabby appearance makes him look like a beggar, but he always gives money to the beggars he passes on the street.

7. He leaves to escape from Javert, who has moved into Gorbeau House.

8. Jean’s greatest fear is losing Cosette.

9. He escapes by scaling a garden wall and using the rope from a streetlight to hoist Cosette over the wall of the convent.

10. They say that Jean is Fauchelevent’s brother, who has come with his granddaughter to visit. Saying they have no money, they convince the prioress and the reverend mother to admit Cosette to the convent school as a charity case.