The Thernadiers Essay

1877 Words8 Pages
The Thenardiers: The Web That Holds the Together Story of Les Miserables They are described as belonging “to that bastard class formed of low people who have risen, and intelligent people who have fallen…” (Hugo, 48) and appear to be insignificant side characters, but they are important to the story of Les Miserables in a way that other characters are not. They seem like horrible weaselly characters upon their entrance, but the Thenardier family is the web that joins the rest of the characters together. Without the Thenardiers, the story of Les Miserables would never have happened the way it did. We are first introduced to the Thenardiers when Fantine comes upon Madame Thenardier in the yard of their inn and asks Madame Thenardier if she will take Cosette and raise her. Madame Thenardier agrees, so long as Fantine pays for the child. Monsieur Thenardier has been listening from the doorway, and shouts out his price to keep the child. This scene introduces us to Monsieur Thenardier and the daughters Eponine and Azelma. Later it is also revealed that young Gavroche is the Thenardier son. The Thenardiers raise Cosette poorly, using her as a servant girl and taking the money Fantine gives them to use for their own gains. Thus Cosette is raised lonely and lowly. People call her The Lark because she is “not larger than a bird, trembling, frightened, and shivering, awake every morning first of all in the house and the village” (Hugo, 49). The fact that the Thenardiers even have Cosette is a huge factor within the story. It connects both the family and the girl to Jean Valjean, who is implored by a dying Fantine to fetch Cosette and bring her. However, Jean Valjean does not accomplish this, as he is put in jail once more before he is able to get her. When he does go to get Cosette, retrieving her as his own brings him to a new era of his life. This also gives

More about The Thernadiers Essay

Open Document