Archive for Musicals.Net Musicals.Net
 


       Musicals.Net Forums -> Les Miserables
Fantine

Tholomyes

It's been ages since I read the book but I would like to know what you all think of him and his relationship with Fantine and his motivations for his actions. Also I would like to remember more about his background. Wasn't he a 30-year-something student who originated from Avignon?

At first I obviously thought that the guy was a bastard for leaving behind his girlfriend with their young child, but maybe that sort of thing would have been more accepted back then (because they were not married). More opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.
Orestes Fasting

Toulouse, actually.

It was pretty common for young men to have working-class girls as mistresses while they were studying in Paris, with no intention of marrying them; most of the Friends of the ABC did too. Tholomyès probably regarded it as a charming little fling that needn't come to anything, and ditched Fantine when he had to go back to Toulouse so as to leave behind the traces of his youthful indiscretions.

And yeah, girls getting left behind with the kid was also pretty common, but it was still a nasty thing to do. If he hadn't been a bastard he would've set them up in a discreet little house somewhere, or at least sent her money from time to time. (See the example of Magnon and M. Gillenormand.)
Fantine

Orestes Fasting wrote:
(See the example of Magnon and M. Gillenormand.)


Thank you OF. What exactly is the background story between them? I don't remember but I'm very intruiged.
Orestes Fasting

http://www.online-literature.com/view.php/les_miserables/165
Fantine

So Monsieur Gillenormand is the father of Magnon's children?
Orestes Fasting

Well, probably not, but he pays for them as if they were so he can keep up his reputation as a ladykiller. Laughing

I say "probably not" because Magnon is a career scam artist loosely connected to Patron-Minette, and she has a history of passing off children as her own so she can get money out of people. But it's as good an example as any: she was a maid in the household, she left, six months later she showed up with a kid she attributed to the head of the household, and he gave her a monthly sum to take care of the kid and checked in on them from time to time without much real interest. Tholomyès, being a rich law student from a bourgeois family, could easily have afforded to do the same for Fantine, but he didn't because he's an ass.
lesmisloony

And don't forget that La Magnon's actual (possibly-Gillenormand) kids died, so she "bought" the Thenardiers' two youngest to replace them.

Is anyone else troubled that Hugo basically says that Courfeyrac and Tholomyes had a LOT in common, including physical appearance? Mostly because I love Courfeyrac and tend to dislike Felix.
Orestes Fasting

He did say that they were only superficially similar--Courfeyrac had about the same wit, attitude, and general habits, but he was "a fine fellow" at heart. Whereas Tholomyès was... well, he left his girlfriend and her two-year-old kid without bothering to pay child support; that's pretty rotten.
Fantine

So Magnon was a bit of a nasty person then. I can see why she did it though. Did she have any connections with the ABC?

Do you think that Tholomyes REALLY enjoyed leaving Fantine behind? He seemed to be really full of himself when he optioned the "plan" to his friends.
The other girls didn't seem to bother them leaving as much as Fantine did but apart from her having a kid, we all know that Favourite, Dahlia and Zephine were probably hurt by their actions as well. Or do you really think that they could only laugh about it?
lesmisloony

I'm almost positive La Magnon didn't have anything to do with Les Amis, but I've read so much fanfic at this point that it may have blurred with reality a little. I think she was mentioned when Hugo explained the pawning of the youngest Jondrettes, after she was evicted, and Eponine referenced her when she said that the house on the Rue Plumet was a biscuit. And I'm pretty sure that's all. She lived with an Englishwoman named Mamselle Miss...

I'm pretty sure Tholomyes didn't think about leaving Fantine twice. I've always been a little confused by the timeline, though. I think Cosette had already been born when Tholomyes left, right ? So wouldn't he know/care that he was abandoning a child, or was he just a big meanie ?

ETA: I'm of the opinion that the other girls really didn't care. I suppose they were older, and a little more accustomed to being passed around between students.
herkind

They also didn't have two year olds to care for either. Wink
Fantine

It bothers me that they didn't do anything to try and help Fantine. I mean, they were friends, right? Or maybe they did try to help her but it was never mentioned. We don't hear much about them after the guy's departures, which is a shame IMO.
Fantine

How old was he exactly? What was told about his appearance? Was he attractive?
Orestes Fasting

It's right there in the book. See that link I posted earlier in the thread? It's to an online, searchable copy of the book.
Fantine

I never really understood those online book things. And I know of their existance, I linked to one on my Fantine site.
Eponine93

Fantine wrote:
It bothers me that they didn't do anything to try and help Fantine. I mean, they were friends, right? Or maybe they did try to help her but it was never mentioned. We don't hear much about them after the guy's departures, which is a shame IMO.


Well... if I remember correctly, they were only friends because of the guys. In fact, I'd say they were more of friends-in-laws in a matter of speaking than true friends. I think of the who story of Fantine involving them as her friends were the kind of girlfriends you get in high school when you get a new haircut and the most popular football player is hitting on you. Then when the football player breaks his leg, ditches you for some other girl and you're no longer popular, they cease to remember your existance. They didn't help because they were just as bad as Tholoymes and company.

What I don't like about the Fantine story is her portrayal as a martyr. I see her as someone who got taken in by the whole popularity game, the geeky girl elevated to stardom then suddenly dropped off, and when I think of her like that my sympathy is limited. Yes, what happened to her was awful but I believe it's partly her own fault for being less than discriminate in choosing her friends and her man. I understand it's because she's naive, but I don't know if I'd call her a martyr exactly. Maybe an example of why you should be wary in picking your friends but not really a martyr.

I'm not sure how accurate this is though, I only read the book once and that was about six months ago so I think I may be missing a few key points.
Fantine

From what I always understood she was really innocent and naive. For me it doesn't seem impossible to fall so desperately in love that you become unaware of anything else. Blinded by love, so to speak.
And Victor Hugo made it quite clear that she was exactly like that.

But I can't be sure, this was just my interpretation.
Orestes Fasting

The Tholomyès part is incidental to her story, though. It wasn't even included in the first edition of the book; Fantine's story started off with her leaving her illegitimate child with the Thénardiers. The point is that whatever her faults or whatever mistakes she committed, she didn't deserve her fate.

I mean, it's important to think about Hugo's agenda in writing the book. It wasn't her "mistake"--naïveté, loss of purity, bad choice of friends, whatever--that doomed her: she got over Tholomyès and found a job to support Cosette. It was society's rejection of her once the matter came to light that drove her to what she became.
lesmisloony

Quote:
It wasn't her "mistake...It was society's rejection of her once the matter came to light that drove her to what she became.


Ladeda, sound like any other LM characters you know ? Except... with a different outcome ?
Fantine

Let's not start that debate Wink
Orestes Fasting

Fantine wrote:
Let's not start that debate Wink


I've never seen a debate centered around Jean Valjean before. Wink
Fantine

Orestes Fasting wrote:
Fantine wrote:
Let's not start that debate Wink


I've never seen a debate centered around Jean Valjean before. Wink


That's certainly true. Let's talk about him.
I do not what the name of EPONINE mentioned in this thread. Well, not after my post at least Wink
Quique

That is quite true. Interesting how he's the protagonist and yet, he's rarely even mentioned, lol.
Fantine

Someone should write an essay about that very fact.

I wonder why? I mean, if I am quite honest, I'm not really interested in JVJ either. And I've never met JVJ fangirls/boys. Why is that?
Quique

That really is most interesting. There should be a whole thread related to this.
Fantine

Okay, let's discuss it Wink

I can't really speak for anyone else as I have no clue why he is so underrated. I can only speak for myself, although I don't even really know why I'm not interested in him. Maybe because we already know too much about him (following his whole life etc)? Maybe because there just isn't enough mystery to him. (There is though...)

Geez. I have no clue.
Quique

^ Same here. I'm intrigued. I mean, I DO enjoy JVJ's story while I'm seeing the show, but I never discuss the man on here. Weird.
lesmisloony

Eenteresting indeed. Here are my thoughts...

Jean Jean already has a lot of time devoted to his character, and it's pretty well fleshed out. That leaves little room for speculation (or fanfiction, but whatever) and makes the character a little less fun.

He's just always good. Kind of dull.

Here's the biggest one--Jean Valjean is rarely hot in any circumstances. I'm pretty sure that's a big reason why girlies don't squee over him. And there's a good chance that fewer people identify with Valjean than, say, Fantine (omg my bf just dumped mee) or Eponine (y doesnt he luvv mee?!?) or... something to that effect.

I've become more interested in him lately, but chiefly because I think his relationship with Cosette is adorable. And we don't see a LOT of memorable interactions between the two of them in the Book, so... it's something to consider.

My two cents, anyway.
Orestes Fasting

lesmisloony wrote:
He's just always good. Kind of dull.


But only after a titanic moral struggle every time he decides to do something outrageously good.
lesmisloony

Very true, but then that relates back to the point that his character has already been fleshed out in enormous sections about his internal struggles. Personally, I love him (nowadays), but I remember when he bored me, and I'm pretty sure these were the reasons why.
       Musicals.Net Forums -> Les Miserables
Page 1 of 1