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Eponine and Sonya Alone

A few days ago I was making a list of the best sequences in the novel of “Les Misérables.” My list, which I’ll put below, was heavy on actions taken by Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert, and one item stood out: Eponine barring her father and his thugs from entering the house where Cosette and her father live. It’s a somewhat short sequence but I found it one of the most memorable of the novel. Eponine, especially after what she does at the barricade, really has to be considered one of the genuine heroes of the story.

Eponine does what she does purely out of love for one person, Marius, but she ends up saving far more than him.

I’ve seen the sequence in front of the house adapted in a few movies, though I don’t think it comes off in any of them nearly as well as it does in the book, where her tenacity is slowly revealed in a very tense buildup. In the musical of “Les Misérables,” Eponine’s big number is “On My Own”, and for many including me it’s a great highlight, even if it doesn’t depict that particular sequence in front of the house:

Samantha Barks as Eponine

Eponine got me thinking of a similar character, Sonya, who quietly saves Natasha from making a catastrophic mistake, by blocking her flight from her house, in “War and Peace”. And Sonya’s solo is my favorite song from that musical that was playing a few years back, about a war and a comet:

Brittain Ashford as Sonya

Oh, and about that list. These are my favorite sequences in the novel of Les Misérables:

Brittain Ashford

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