Catalyst Characters in Stories

There are several types of characters in books. They range from protagonists, antagonists, major characters, secondary characters, and minor characters. However, I believe some characters serve as catalyst characters, who are the reasons why a plot truly begins or maybe why the antagonists start to oppose the protagonist. Let me bring some examples.

Les Mis- Spoilers (I believe there are two)

The Bishop

Look, Valjean left prison as a hardened and angry man. Many people weren’t going to give him a chance just because he was a prisoner. No one would give him a job or giving him shelter or food, etc……They even were beating him up, which made Valjean even more angry at society.

Look what the bishop did- he gave him a place to stay and food to eat despite the fact that he was a convict. Despite all the compassion, Valjean still stole the bishop’s silver. However, when the police came back with Valjean and the bishop’s silver, the bishop lied to the police and said the silver was a gift, which left Valjean stunned. The bishop actually taught Valjean the ways of the Lord- mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. That explains the rest of Valjean’s actions- showing compassion to Fantine, turning himself in to protect an innocent man, mercy towards Javert, etc………..

Cosette

Why do you think I said there are two catalyst characters in Les Mis? Cosette is another catalyst character for Valjean. Cosette made a huge impact on Valjean’s life- Valjean literally promised her mother that he would raise Cosette as his own not knowing the huge impact Cosette would have on his life. Cosette would become the best thing in his life- explaining why he became such an overprotective father and why he rescued Marius from the barricades. He got to die with both Cosette and Marius by his side.

Tale of The Cattail Forest- my main WIP

Marge

It can be hard to say this at times, but Marge is my antagonist’s younger cousin. Unlike Sarge, she was born with a loving family. That resulted in Marge being Sarge’s easiest target and for her to be easily misunderstood by her own kind- all of that led to her having an incredible amount of wisdom and knowing how lonely Graysloup became. Once Sparkle, my main character, heard about the bleak situation going on in Graysloup, she decided to take action. Her first decision was to befriend Marge, and the rest of the story goes from there. Not only did she decide to befriend Marge, but she also made the decision for all the The Fairy Frogs to try to befriend all the Toads despite knowing how hard that would be.

What about you, do you understand the idea of catalyst characters?

Finale (Les Mis) Analysis

The Finale of Les Mis is one of the strongest finales in musical theatre. In my opinion, it is actually one of my favorite finales found in musical theatre. If you want to PROCEED, SPOILERS. It is the final death scene in Les Mis- it is actually when Valjean dies. The Finale is full of both heartbreak and hope. This song is a reprise of “Do You Hear the People Sing”, and this time, I believe it represents heaven. Through lyrics like “Even the Darkest Night will End and the Sun will Rise” and Tomorrow Comes”, there is a lot of hope found in this song.

And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.

Do you hear the people sing
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

For the wretched of the earth
There is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end
And the sun will rise.

They will live again in freedom
In the garden of the Lord.
We will walk behind the ploughshare;
We will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken
And all men will have their reward.

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing?
Say, do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring
When tomorrow comes!

Tomorrow comes!

The picture below is something I painted, but it does show the finale from Les Mis.

Even though Valjean does die, he is still happy at the moment. That is because he got to see Cosette one last time. It is actually on the night of Cosette’s wedding, and the same night Marius discovered that Valjean saved him from the barricade. So, Marius was able to thank Valjean for saving his life. Valjean’s redemption is so strong at this moment- Fantine’s spirit escorts Valjean to heaven and is welcomed by the Bishop, who played a huge part in Valjean’s journey.

To Love Another Person is to see the Face of God

The lyrics above are the most famous lyrics from Les Mis. Look how many people showed love in Les Mis who did die. Valjean’s love for God and Cosette; Fantine’s love for Cosette, Eponine’s love for Marius despite it being unrequited; and The Friends of the ABC’s love for each other and the country. Even though Marius and Cosette lived, they have love for each other despite losing everyone that meant something to them.

A Heart Full of Love Analysis

When it comes to love triangles in musicals, the ones that automatically come to mind are the ones in Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Mis. A Heart Full of Love serves as the romantic duo in Les Mis- it is between Marius and Cosette, who are the two lovers.

(Marius)
A heart full of love
A heart full of song
I’m doing everything all wrong
Oh God, for shame
I do not even know your name
Dead Mad’moiselle
Won’t you say?
Will you tell?

(Cosette)
A heart full of love
No fear, no regret

(Marius)
My name is Marius Pontmercy

(Cosette)
And mine’s Cosette

(Marius)
Cosette, I don’t know what to say

(Cosette)
Then make no sound

(Marius)
I am lost

(Cosette)
I am found!

(Marius)
A heart full of light

(Cosette)
A night bright as day

(Marius)
And you must never go away
Cosette, Cosette

(Cosette)
This is a chain we’ll never break

(Marius)
Do I dream?

(Cosette)
I’m awake!

(Marius)
A heart full of love

(Eponine) He was never mine to lose

(Cosette)
A heart full of you

(Eponine) Why regret what could not be?

(Marius)
A single look and then I knew.

(Eponine) These are words he’ll never say

(Cosette)
I knew it too.

(Eponine) Not to me…

(Marius)
From today…

(Eponine) Not to me…

(Cosette)
Every day

(Eponine) Not for me…

(Cosette & Marius)
For it isn’t a dream

(Eponine) His heart full of love

(Cosette and Marius)
Not a dream

{Eponine) He will never

(Cosette and Marius)
After all!

(Eponine) Feel this way…

A Heart Full of Love, Les Mis

Yes, my love for Marius and Cosette is an unpopular opinion.Their relationship is so adorable and they help bring hope into Les Mis. That is why Marius had to survive the barricades. A Heart Full of Love may be the romantic duo, but it is clever towards the end when it becomes a trio. You already are feeling joy for Marius and Cosette, but at the same time you start to feel heartbroken for Eponine- that is what happens when the duet is turns into a trio. In the love triangle, my favorite character is Eponine, but I still love Marius and Cosette.

On My Own Analysis

Like Wicked, Les Mis is home to a love triangle. In Les Mis, it is Eponine who is struggling with unrequited love. As a matter of fact, Marius is the only good thing in Eponine’s life. On My Own actually helped me understand I’m Not That Girl is a heartbreaking song- after all both are unrequited love songs even though one of them is ironic.

And now I’m all alone again
Nowhere to turn, no one to go to
Without a home without a friend
Without a face to say hello to
And now the night is near
I can make believe he’s here

Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and I’m happy
With the company I’m keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head

Own my own
Pretending he’s beside me
All alone
I walk with him till morning
Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and foreverĀ 

And I know it’s only in my mind
That I’m talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there’s a way for us

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone
The river’s just a river
Without him
The world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

I love him
But every day I’m learning
All my life
I’ve only been pretending
Without me
His world would go on turning
A world that’s full of happiness
That I have never known

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own

On My Own, Les Mis

There are moments where you can see insight that go beyond the unrequited love. Such as “without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to”, and “a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known”. It is true- Eponine doesn’t have that good of a life. She is living in extreme poverty with abusive, criminal, and terrible parents. Marius is the only good thing in her life- why do you think she hangs on and continues to love him despite the love being unrequited? She does accept that Marius loves Cosette, and does anything for him.

The song alone shows just how strong her love for Marius is. The song gets stronger as it continues.

Come to Me Analysis

This is another SPOILER duet in musicals. As a matter of fact, this is the first death scene in Les Mis. You also need to understand Fantine to understand this song. Fantine has an unconditional love for her daughter, Cosette. Prior to “Come to Me”, Fantine has had a LOT of things happening to her- gotten fired, sold her locket, hair, turned to prostitution, and almost got sent to jail. Good thing Valjean intervened and helped her.

[Fantine]
Cosette, it’s turned so cold
Cosette, it’s past your bedtime
You’ve played the day away
And soon it will be night.

Come to me, Cosette, the light is fading
Don’t you see the evening star appearing?
Come to me, and rest against my shoulder
How fast the minutes fly away and every minute colder.

Hurry near, another day is dying
Don’t you hear, the winter wind is crying?
There’s a darkness which comes without a warning
But I will sing you lullabies and wake you in the morning.

[Valjean]
Oh, Fantine, our time is running out
But Fantine, I swear this on my life

[Fantine]
Look, M’sieur, where all the children play

[Valjean]
Be at peace, be at peace evermore.

[Fantine]
My Cosette…

[Valjean]
Shall live in my protection

[Fantine]
Take her now

[Valjean]
Your child will want for nothing

[Fantine]
Good M’sieur, you come from God in Heaven.

[Valjean]
And none shall ever harm Cosette
As long as I am living.

[Fantine]
Take my hand. The night grows ever colder.

[Valjean]
Then I will keep you warm.

[Fantine]
Take my child. I give her to your keeping.

[Valjean]
Take shelter from the storm

[Fantine]
For God’s sake, please stay till I am sleeping
And tell Cosette I love her
And I’ll see her when I wake…

Come to Me, Les Mis

All because of the mercy bishop gave Valjean, her learned how to show compassion to others. After hearing about what happened to Fantine, one of his former coworkers, he decided to show compassion to her. For starters, he decided to be her while he died. Second, he decided to raise Cosette as well= due to that, it gave Fantine peace and comfort for once. Valjean had to unexpectedly become a father- little did he know the impact Cosette would have on his life.