Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cosette enters the Convent

Before we further dwell into the journey of Cosette from the hell of Thénardiers with her saviour Monsieur Madeleine, it makes sense to reflect a bit on Monsieur Madeleine's past.Monsieur Madeleine's real name is Jean Valjean, he is an ex-convict, imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread from a baker out of dire necessity, in order to feed his widowed sister's seven kids after hard times fall upon his during the economic depression his country is going through at that time.He is imprisoned for five years but he attempts to escape four times and hence ends up spending a total of nineteen years in prison.

On Valjean's release he is made to carry an yellow passport that labels him as an ex-convict.Where ever he goes people treat him unkindly, and not even one inn takes him in for the night.At last, Bishop Myriel, an old clergyman in that town of Digne, takes pity on him, feeds him and offers him a bed for the night.Valjean still bitter and unsure about the Bishop's intentions, steals the Bishop's silverware and bolts in the middle of the night, only to be caught and brought back to the Bishop by the police.The Bishop saves him by telling the police that its he who had gifted him those articles.Valjean repents and then on tries to lead a just life.

Jean Valjean lands up in the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer, takes the name of Monsieur Madeleine, enters into business, becomes immensely successful and builds numerous schools, hospitals and orphanages.Javert, a police inspector always suspects Monsieur Madeleine to be Jean Valjean.In the meantime Valjean saves Fantine from the police, nurses her(she is afflicted with TB) and on her death bed promises to take care of her daughter, Cosette.

As fate would have it, Javert informs Monsieur Madeleine that they have found Jean Valjean.Monsieur Madeleine battles with his conscience for a whole night and ends up in front of the judge confessing that he is Jean Valjean, in order to save the wrongly accused man.Javert tries to arrest Jean Valjean when he visits Fantine on her death bed.Valjean manages to escape, hides the money he had made so far in a forest and while on his way to redeem Cosette is arrested by Javert.

Eventually while being transported on a ship, Valjean saves a fellow convict from falling overboard and jumps into the sea making it appear as if he had died.He then reaches the inn of Montfermeil and saves Cosette from Thénardiers by paying them thousand five hundred francs.

Valjean takes Cosette to Paris where they live in an isolated house called "Gorbeau House" with an old woman who acts as their caretaker.Sometimes during the evening Valjean takes Cosette for a walk.

Javert soon sniff's Valjean's trail and follows him to the Gorbeau house and takes up residence there.Valjean becomes aware of Javert's presence and escapes during the night with Cosette.Javert pursues him with his police force and corners him in an alley.With no other means of escape possible, Valjean climbs a high wall and finds himself in a garden that's part of a convent.

There he meets Fauchelevent, whoam on an earlier occasion he had saved from under the wheels of a heavy cart and had found him a job in that same convent.Fauchelevent introduces Valjean as Ultime Fauchelevent, his brother to the nuns and gets him a job as a gardener in the convent.Cosette is admitted to the school in the convent.

During the evenings Valjean spends time with Cosette and takes her for a walk to the Jardin du Luxembourg, when they are spotted by Marius who thinks no more of Cosette than an ordinary teenager, accompanied by her father.


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