Monday, February 17, 2014

29 Faces For February

As you will recall (from the previous two posts, see below)  Fantine has a child being boarded with an innkeeper and his wife, the Thenardiers.  Two horrid, reprehensible people, they will cheat, thieve, and connive anyone out of their last sou, if possible.  Even their inn guests are fodder for their greed.  They have written to Fantine to send more money, because her child is ill and needs a doctor.  The child, Cosette, is not ill at all, but is being abused and neglected by those adults into whose care she was entrusted.  They have a little girl of their own, whom they pet and spoil, and basically teach to be as dishonest as they are.  Cosette is expected to do all the housework and fetch water for scraps of food, rags to wear, and no play.

Monsieur Thenardier, who is not above watering the beer with his own urine.  Yet, he is celebrated locally as "The Master of the House."  Played by Sacha Baron Cohen.

Slatternly Madame Thenardier, every bit as crooked as her husband and even more mean to Cosette.  Portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter.

Once Jean Valjean shows up to take Cosette away, willing to settle any debts for her keep,  the Thenardiers jump at the chance to get more and more money from him.  He is smart and knows their type, but treats them civilly.  Cosette knows this is her chance to escape her oppressors, and goes with him willingly.  "Will you be like a Papa to me?"

Cosette clutches a dirty rag, knotted into a rough figure.  She pretends it is a doll, and it's her only plaything.  Played by Isabelle Allen.

Valjean and Cosette escape into the night, finding refuge at a convent, where he can work for their keep, and raise the child in secluded safety.  Though he has secreted some cash away, he needs to stay hidden from the prying eyes of Inspector Javert.  His fear of being caught determines so many of his life's decisions.

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