Memorial Day- Connection to Les Mis

I understand that Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died in the military. At the same time, it reminds me of the uprising in Les Mis. The uprising is one of my favorite subplots. A lot comes from the brotherly love found between the students along with their hope and passion. As “Do You Hear the People Sing” says “some will fall and some with live, will you stand up and take your chance”, it shows that the uprising will have some deaths and some survivors. What will be the fate of Enjolras, Marius, Gavroche, and the other students?

Major Spoilers

This uprising is known as The June Rebellion of 1832, and is only known due to Les Mis. Well, it is a unsuccessful and failed rebellion. In Les Mis, everyone (except for Marius) does lose their lives. Despite knowing their fates, as seen in “Drink With Me”, they still stay passionate all the way to the end. Even when Enjolras says to leave in order to survive, all of them keep their ground and stay. Their bond is so close that it actually feels like a family.

The survivor of this uprising is Marius, and that is due to two characters. When Marius almost does get shot, Eponine gets in the way to save him, which ended up being fatal. The death of Eponine does leave him devastated, but he did stay with her until her death- that is an amazing amount of compassion. Second, Jean Valjean saved his life: he does send a prayer to God through “Bring Him Home” to make sure Marius survive. In the final battle after Marius gets shot and falls unconscious, Valjean ended up ultimately carrying him through the sewers and Marius survives ultimately because of Valjean.

"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"- 25th anniversary production
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” (Joshua Grosso)- 25th anniversary production

“Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” does show the amount of trauma he went through. This song is a survivor’s guilt song, and it is extremely devastating. He does not understand why he is the only survivor while everyone, except Cosette, he is close to ends up losing their lives. Cosette does help him heal from his wounds, which does show her love for him. At the end, all Marius and Cosette have left is each other- their relationship brought a lot of hope into Les Mis.

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