“I promised him!” he screamed, realizing even as he did so that his voice was laced with something wrong. Almost insanity. “I promised I’d save him, take him home! I promised him!”
you might also have known how the world may be changed in just one burst of light.
she dreamed of para para paradise every time she closed her eyes
enjolras, the chief, is liberté - he’s liberty leading the people, he’s the glory of the glorious revolution, he’s the fist of the revolution raised defiantly skyward, and while he may be the ‘leader’ of the amis, and the rebellion, he is not all there is to it
combeferre, the guide, is égalité - he’s the man with the plan, the one man arsenal, fighting for revolution, but civilisation, and while enjolras fights for the citizen, he’s fighting for man, and perhaps he is softer than enjolras, but he is vital - he is the mind of the revolution
and courfeyrac, the centre, is fraternité - he’s genial and friendly and loving and he sees the best in everyone, and he’s genuinely fond of marius, he is compassionate and affectionate, the big, warm heart of the revolution, and when things are most dire, on the barricade, he brings good humour to the others, and hope
together, not only do they lead the revolution, not only do they uphold the revolutionary ideals and fight for them, they embody them.
(meta quoted from this post)
ooh, this is such an interesting bit of meta, and it totally outs me as a historian of the twenthieth century, because when i see this, i get so fucking sad.
there’s a fairly common theoretical debate that we bat around in our department, whereby the history of the “age of revolutions” (roughly, 1775-1848) is represented as the triumph of the triptych of liberté, égalité and fraternité — while the ensuing century is the sundering of these three ideals.
liberté becomes liberalism: free trade and free markets and a people free of the yoke of government…. this is classical liberalism, the liberalism of neo-liberal markets and classic democracy.
egalité becomes socialism: the idea that all people should have equal opportunities to succeed — and that equal opportunities can only only occur in a system where the playing field is leveled.
and fraternité becomes nationalism: the imaginary community of people who share membership in the nation above all, as opposed to a community of religion or class or political affiliation.
liberté, égalité and fraternité stand arm-in-arm on the barricades, but by 1871, liberté and the third republic will be the ones manning the guns and mowing down the partisans of égalité. by 1914, fraternité will assassinate a reformist archduke reform and plunge the entire continent into a cataclysm that no one in 1832 could even imagine.
if enjolras, combeferre and courfeyrac really do represent the three ideals of the age of revolution, then maybe it’s better that they perished in 1832, rather than become enemies forty years later.