Cosette Character Sketch
The character of Cosette brings a sense of love and romance, a hope for a better future, and entertainment value to the story of Les Miserables. She is also a developing character. Cosette's beauty, the way she sees herself, and her fervor for living are slowly altered through life's events and experiences.
Euphrasie, nicknamed Cosette by her mother, Fantine, grows up in an atmosphere of poverty, fear, and heartlessness. At this time, Cosette is approximately at the age of six, and she is described as thin and pale with bruised and reddened skin. She wears rags for clothing, and she possesses very plain and unappealing features. Although the author does point out that she has the potential to be pretty, the potential is hidden behind a wall of fear, as the author describes, "Fear was spread all over her." Cosette was rescued from this life by Jean Valjean, who took her in as his own.
In the convent, Cosette noticed for the first time that her body had fully matured, and that her appearance was stunningly dazzling as she gazed into the mirror. After this revelation, and after she overhears Jean Valjean and his friend conversing in the garden about her budding beauty, her whole demeanor and self-confidence soars. She is described as radiant, rosy, proud, and brilliant. Victor Hugo also points out that she was not only one of the most beautiful women in France, but also one of the best dressed, which could be witnessed along with the joy radiating from her when she meandered through the streets. Cossette transforms from a young girl doomed to a gate of sadness and servitude, to a young woman filled with overwhelming happiness, confidence, and beauty. Through these experiences, Cosette develops a newfound sense of fervor for life.
As Cosette and Marius' relationship develops, Cosette's passion for life is altered through her experiences with Marius. The novel describes her as previously...