Jean Valjean: Sometimes even in the most unfortunate of lives there will occur a moment or two of good fortune. Javert: It is very annoying to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is the one who is proving you wrong and proving himself, wrongly, right. Right? Fantine: Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like. Marius: Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby- awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess. Cosette: One cannot spend forever sitting and solving the mysteries of one’s history. Enjolras: No reality has the power to dispel a dream. Combeferre: Arguing with somebody is never pleasant, but sometimes it is useful and necessary to do so. Courfeyrac: I’m sure you have heard it said that appearance does not matter so much, and that it is what what’s on the inside that counts. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because if it were true then people who were good on the inside would never have to comb their hair or take a bath, and the whole world would smell even worse than it already does. Jehan: If you have ever found yourself sitting in the darkness with a flashlight, you may have experienced the feeling that something is lurking just beyond the circle of light that a flashlight makes, and reading poem about dead men is not a good way to make yourself feel better. Feuilly: All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk. Joly: If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. Bossuet: If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say in a pleasant and hopeful voice, “Well this isn’t too bad, I don’t have a left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me if I’m left-handed or right-handed,” but most of us would say something more along the lines of, “Aaaaah! My arm! My arm! Bahorel: Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course. Grantaire: Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and then there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.
bonus: Victor Hugo: In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.