Eponine lives in a small town, it might be just outside of Paris but it’s still a small town and people in small towns aren’t always the most accepting. Most of them aren’t outright homophobic, they wouldn’t exactly say anything but the disdainful looks and the mantra of ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ are enough. Eponine quickly learns to hide who she is, she hates it but she does it because it keeps her safe. She hides behind black clothes and eyeliner and keeps her eyes on the ground.
But when she leaves her small town life to go to university in Paris. And Paris is a completely different world. Paris is full of colour and people that love each other regardless of what society thinks.
The first time Eponine sees two girls holding hands walking down the street, she doesn’t know where to look. Is she allowed to look? she thinks, or is she supposed to look away pointedly?
She finds herself staring, unable to take her eyes off of them. And they stare back, she smiles softly to try to show them that she knows and that she gets it.
Eponine meets Les Amis, a group of people so free and happy in their sexuality and gender identity. And for the first time ever she doesn’t have to hide. She can be free and open and can easily talk about how beautiful girls are without worrying about who’s around.
one of the les mis quotes that breaks my heart the most is in enjolras’ barricade speech where he says “the nineteenth century is great, but the twentieth century will be happy”
it’s just so hopeful and naive and i think it was something victor hugo himself probably believed. That all the great dramatic events of the 19th century would be a thing of the past and that the 20th century might be a little less romantic, but there would be peace and people would be happy. But he was totally wrong and the 20th century was both world wars and france was occupied and took huge blows to it’s spirit as a nation probably more so than anything before in hugo’s time. It’s such a great line honestly, and it’s perhaps even more poignant because of it’s tragic irony from a modern perspective. Idk that part just breaks my heart to pieces every time.