Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 14 of 25 Days of Les Misérables: The Beginning of Young Love

Do you believe in love at first sight? I’m skeptical of the term and what it usually means. I believe in chemistry at first sight. I believe in attraction at first sight. But love? Really?
            Apparently, if the thing exists, it affects Marius Pontmercy. He’s a new character introduced at the end of act II. He falls in love with grown up Cosette when he runs into her on the street. He’s affected so deeply by his feelings for Cosette that he begins to struggle with his dedication to the rebel cause he is involved with.
            Marius isn’t the only person affected by strong feelings. Cosette, alone at the home she lives at with Valjean, wonders if Marius felt the same way that she felt when they met on the street.
            Not only does love at first sight exist for one person, it exists for the other person as well. The probability of that happening? Well, let’s see…
            I did a hasty pull of opinions yesterday. I also had some pretty extensive conversations with my roommates. On top of that, I scoured the internet for information on said subject.
            As a result, it can be concluded that Marius and Cosette are a classic case of “attraction at first sight.” If you’re gong to define love as commitment, selflessness, sacrifice, adoration, and all the other words that make up a definition of “being in love” such things cannot be developed in a chance meeting. Or even two or three chance meetings.
            One quote from a website (that actually came from a fitness website if you can imagine) put things quite nicely “As a friend wisely told me, ‘Love at first sight does not lead to love at last sight.’ The risk in believing that fate brings couples together is also thinking that fate will keep couples together. Maintaining attraction comes from purposeful steps to: plan dates involving shared interests, come home at a reasonable hour to be around your partner, and express your romantic interest well past the first, hundredth, or thousandth sighting.”[1]
             Well said.
            Now back to Marius and Cosette. I don’t think the emotions that exist between the two are unrealistic. They are two young people, both lonely, and at the perfect spot in their lives for finding love. They meet by chance and are instantly attracted to one another. However, Marius has to do some work to find Cosette. They meet in secret while Marius’ friend Eponine poses as the lookout.
            Let’s recap. What’s happened in the story so far? Prisoner goes on parole, prisoner breaks parole, prisoner takes on a new identity. Woman gets fired from her job, becomes a prostitute, then dies. Fugitive flees from authorities, discovers a young girl being abused, then pays off her guardians to take her away.
            This is some pretty heavy stuff.
            Marius and Cosette arrive to lighten our hearts a bit. Young love can do that for a story, for a person, for a family. Their story begins just when we need some relief. Their story begins just before things start to get heated again.


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