Anonymous said: HI I was the original Les Mis anon. And I really, really liked reading your meta, and I totally get where you're coming with Fantine. Her life SUCKED, and was definitely the worst. But, if you don’t mind expanding the conversation, I would like to consider who’s DEATH sucked the most, which, of course, is in relation to their life. Fantine’s life sucked for a long time. By the end, she didn’t have any hopes for it being better. All she wanted was a better life for Cosette, and she died thinking
her life wasn’t a total waste, because her daughter could go on. It ended with hope, a high note (or a medium note?) Enjolras, however, died with his entire dream, life, and friends up in flame. With the Grantaire part aside (which I’d argue doesn’t make up for all that much, because yeah, Grantaire redeemed himself, but in DEATH, and who would want their maybe-lover to DIE for redemption?), his death SUCKED. He died KNOWING his life was worthless, his dream died, everything was gone, and he led all of his best friends into their slaughter for NO REASON. Eponine died in her lovers arms, Fantine died with hope, but Enjolras, I think, died in the ashes of his failure and friends. (OH MY GOD SORRY THAT WAS SO LONG—but any thoughts on this? With Fantine’s sad life being the saddest established?)
(don’t be sorry; long meta is the best meta!)
Okay, I get where you’re coming from too with Enjolras’ dream dying with him (and I totally agree that Grantaire didn’t really redeem himself because he didn’t die for the new republic, he died for a guy he believed in; his whole schtick is that he only stuck around for the booze and for Enjolras, in my opinion), and I do think that everything went up in flames for him, but I think he still had hope. I’m probably a little too tied to the religious aspects of Enjolras’ character, but because he’s so connected to the apostle persona that he would’ve had to have been fine with dying so long as it brings in the change he honestly and truly believed was going to happen. I agree that he died in the worst way possible, but I disagree with his perception of it.
Eponine, on the other hand, died “happy” but in terrible circumstances. There’s some in the text to support that she was supportive of what The Friends were doing, but little to suggest that she actually wanted to be a part of the group and actively fight against the regime’s armies. She shouldn’t have died because she shouldn’t have even been there, even knowing the consequences of being there. Eponine died satisfied with what she was given in her final hour but she shouldn’t have died then period (can you tell I’m bitter about Eponine’s death?).
Fantine did die the happiest death, considering the scope of things. Her character is reliant upon the preservation of Cosette’s character and in that, in her death, she succeeded. Cosette did live, unlike most of the characters tbh. She died with the knowledge that at least Val Jean will help her child, and that’s all she wanted.
I guess I agree with you on the shittiness of their deaths, I just disagree with Enjolras’ perception of it. Surely Grantaire perceived it as an end of all things; he didn’t want to live in a world without his Apollo so he voluntarily took his hand and died beside him. For Grantaire, death was imminent but he welcomed it. For Enjolras, death was his final hope of change because with Christ characters like himself, there will always be a resurrection, whether that be in ideology, in retribution, or in renewal of an entire country’s perspective and government in this case.
Enjolras’ dream didn’t die with him. That’s the point. Enjolras and those who fight at his side are very well aware of the risks they run, and have made a conscious decision to continue to fight past the point at which they have a hope of success in this particular battle (Enjolras explicitly lays out the fact that they can’t hope to succeed and what forces are arrayed against them, and it is the men themselves who insist on remaining). In his speech on the view one beholds from a barricade, Enjolras outlines where they see themselves fitting in to the struggle of human progress. Not for one moment does he doubt, blame himself, believe that the cause for which he fights will ultimately fail. He and his followers believe their deaths have a purpose. He might grieve for his friends, although there’s not much time for that beyond the earlier deaths of Bahorel and Jehan, but he doesn’t blame himself (quite rightly - they are comrades and equals, and he would never dishonour their sacrifice by removing their agency and assuming they fought because of him…they fight because they share his ideals).
If you read the description of Enjolras’ demeanor immediately before Grantaire wakes, he is proud, calm, magnificent, transcendent…completely unafraid, embracing his death, making no excuses or attempting to explain or justify himself to his killers. His role as he sees it is done - he has handed the future and the flame over to those who will follow, as he has no doubt they will. Indeed, he is so intimidating and powerful that, even unarmed, he awes the men who will kill him. And then, of course, he has one final affirmation in Grantaire embracing their cause.
Of all the deaths in the book, Enjolras’ is perhaps the least sad. He knows why he is dying, he believes in the cause for which he dies, he believes in a future that will come with absolute certitude, and he is not afraid. He looks his death square in eyes and doesn’t flinch…and then, joined by Grantaire, dies with a smile on his lips that has not quite finished when the guns are fired.
Agreeing with everything edwarddespard pointed out and just wanted to add a little note about Grantaire and his relationship with Enjolras.
I don’t think R’s death is quite so bleak/lacking in redemption as you’re painting it necessarily. It’s true that he doesn’t believe in The Cause and would rather die than live without his friends - let’s not forget that’s it’s not just Enjolras but every single person he gives a shit about that dies on the barricade. But I think his death is the culmination of a kind of self-realization. R may have a tendency to wax poetic about his flaws and short comings after a few too many drinks but Victor Hugo tells of right off the bat the he is capable of one particular sort of belief: the faith he has in Enjolras and the love he has for the others. Maybe the Grantaire we meet initially might have done what he did as a sort of snub to Enjolras (he’s perfectly capable of dying after all, you see) but by the time we get to OFPD Grantaire is already raw from the loss of his friends, the curtain is torn away and we see him transfigured. He too is calm, where he drank and cursed and railed against the inevitability of this moment before. I like to think that maybe he’s realized that this small sacrifice is enough. That perhaps he isn’t a total waste of space. It may not be particularly comforting or redeeming for most people but for him, it’s enough.
As for Enjolras’ perception of that moment and why it means so much: he loves his friends just as much as Grantaire does. And in that one chapter (Enjolras and his Lieutenants) where he’s basically walking around thinking how great they are, we see him struggle to come up with any redeeming characteristics in R. Not in a particularly mean way: he’s kind of sincerely trying to think of something but keeps coming up blank. And I have this
possibly romanticizednotion that OFPD is when he finds it. Because Enjolras has been prepared to die for The Cause since the beginning, has probably even resigned himself to dying alone… but he doesn’t have to. I think he knows R isn’t really there for The Cause. But this is where he finally realizes what Grantaire is about, he’s been trying to figure it out all this time and know he finally knows, and he accepts it. This is the moment where they see eye-to-eye and Enjolras realizes that this is what R has to offer and even if it isn’t ardent devotion to the Republic, or Combeferre’s eloquence, or Courfeyrac’s verve, or Bahorel’s smile, the admiration and love he has for Enjolras is enough. He may not be afraid, but I think it’s must still be a relief that he doesn’t have to die alone after all. And of course, to love another person is the see the face of God, and all that.
This is my
highly romanticized sorry not sorryperception of what is being exchanged when Enjolras presses Grantaire’s hand and they face the National Guard together. Uh, make of it what you will.
#oh i totally buy that OFPD interpretation yes #thank you #(also in answer to the original question: jean valjean #the person whose death sucked the most is jean valjean #because yeah he had cosette again #but he shouldn’t have lost her in the first place #it’s just two ridiculous men failing entirely to communicate and poor cosette stuck in the middle) #anyway yes this is excellent meta
Gave my students a pop quiz today and learned something new:
If you make all the answers to the questions C, you will see 35 of the most hilariously panicked and confused faces in the world.
are you satan
you really do not live up to your url
ameliarating said: Clint and Natasha, if Clint had had a cameo in Cap 2 (like he should have -bitters-)
Clint is a fucking professional, thank you, and that is the only reason he isn’t panting as he arrives at the random address Natasha texted him, alongside their codeword that means “SHIELD’s been compromised,” what is frankly the creepiest emoji he’s ever seen, and a request.
He took a long circuitous route, losing any tails that might have been trying to follow him, but he doesn’t blame the guy at the door for looking at him like he might be a spy (which, you know, he IS). But eventually the man cracks a grin. “Sam Wilson,” he says, offering a hand.
Clint shakes it. “Clint Barton.” He holds up the package. “Nat asked me for this?”
"Oh, thank god," Natasha says, coming from out of nowhere to lift the flat iron out of his hands.
TRULY THE MOST PERFECT POST HEADCANON INSTANTLY ACCEPTED also in the bag clint brings: her favorite brown eyeshadow (she uses it for eyeliner and brows okay; it’s necessary) an angled liner brush one of the 70 tubes of nude lipstick she’s left at clint’s apartment over the years and clean socks and underwear 'your emergency kit is eye makeup a flat iron lipstick and underwear?' sam asks natasha rolls her eyes 'of course it is. you can find weapons anywhere; do you know what a pain in the ass it is to find a comfortable bra in my size?' (she doesn’t mention that clint’s emergency kit is exactly the same barton’s really weird about who knows how much work he puts into his hairstyle)
Today I saw a Buddhist monk in his robes cracking himself up taking selfies with a cardboard cut out of the Pope. I’ve seen world peace, and it thinks it’s hilarious.
mathamaniac said: How would a wizard deal with arachnophobia? I never have the heart to squish spiders but still have a panic-response when I see them!
The wizardly way to deal with this is to chat with spiders until they no longer frighten you. :)
They are not the world’s most voluble conversationalists. Mostly what they have to say is “Hungry”, “gotta make a web”, “gotta hang out in the web”, “OH WOW I CAUGHT SOMETHING YAY!”, “Sorry, can’t talk, gotta wrap up what I caught”, “Mmmmm” (at dinnertime), “gotta take the web down and conserve my resources”, and (seasonally) “HEY PRETTY LADY / PRETTY GUY, LET’S DANCE / FUCK”.
But if you can get them past that — usually by persistence: wizards who specialize in insects learn persistence pretty early on — you will also hear “Whoops, sorry, didn’t mean to scare you, you looked kinda like a tree from that angle”, “Oh come on, the wind blew me into your hair, do you think I wanted to be here? You are not remotely edible”, “You wouldn’t have a caterpillar on you, would you? I missed lunch”, “How do you get by with so few legs? I am so sorry for you”, “I am so not ready for sex yet”, and “Would you turn off that damn light?”, or alternately “Thank you for leaving the porch light on last night, best meal I’ve had in ages, I asked all my mates round and everybody made out like bandits.”
…Wizards aside, I once had a conversation rather like this with a driveway full of tarantulas (they would come out and bask on cool mornings because the driveway would store the sun’s heat overnight). The brown tarantula, early in the morning before things warm up enough for them to get active, is the most docile and sociable of creatures. They sit there and look at you with all their little eyes. You look at them with your two. Peaceful coexistence, until they start quietly creeping away to hide in the bushes.
(I also had a long talk some years ago with the giant Malaysian hissing cockroach up at the Museum of Natural History in NY, but I can’t discuss that because it was mostly about sex.)