Les Misérables


Vol. 4 Books 10 to 15 and Vol. 5 Book 1

Summary: Volume 4/ Book 10

It is June 5, 1832. As the narrator has previously mentioned, Paris is teeming with revolutionary sentiment. Matters have not been helped by the miserable epidemic of cholera that is sweeping the city. The funeral procession for General Lamarque strikes fear into the heart of the monarchy. Troops are sent out to put down any possible signs of revolt, but the military presence only makes matters worse. Shots are fired from the Austerlitz Bridge. Almost instantly, the insurrection swells from the heart of the city, with barricades springing up everywhere. The National Guard is dispatched.

Summary: Volume 4/ Book 11

Gavroche joins up with the armed band of Friends of the ABC members. All are preparing to face the army. Along their way, they encounter M. Mabeuf. When Mabeuf asks where they are going, they reply, “To fling the government to the earth.” Mabeuf replies, “That is good” and joins them. The group gathers members as they walk through the city.

Summary: Volume 4/ Book 12

The Friends of the ABC group—with a great deal of help from Gavroche—builds a formidable barricade outside their favorite wine shop. Javert attempts to infiltrate the group by going undercover as one of the insurgents, but Gavroche recognizes him and he is taken prisoner. When an insurgent named Le Cabuc drunkenly shoots a porter for refusing to open his door, Ejolras (leader of the ABC) gives Le Cabuc one minute to pray and then executes him. Ejolras then delivers a passionate speech about justice and death.

Summary: Volume 4/ Book 13

Marius, armed with his two pistols, walks through Paris sunk in despair. His greatest wish is to die, and he believes he is walking toward his death. He has some moral turmoil about participating in an insurrection of this nature; it does not strike him as really noble. However, he is drawn toward it and believes that he is truly fighting for freedom. As Marius nears the...

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Essays About Les Misérables