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Brick!Eponine: Vengeful or Just a Mess?Since so many people responded so quickly to my Fantine poll, I thought I'd do another one. I'm kind of sorry that it's about Eponine, considering how discussed to death the little rat's character is, but I don't think this element has been discussed much yet.
Why, in the book, does she send Marius to the barricade to die? I originally thought she did it out of anger, but now that I've given it more thought, it seems more like she does it out of a twisted, jealous desperation to claim him for herself, or at least for Cosette not to have him. After all, Hugo said that her dying thought was "None shall have him," not "He will pay with his blood" (someone on Youtube once actually misheard "He will never feel this way" in the musical for those words! ) or anything like that.
The various fanfics and character descriptions I've read seem divided pretty evenly in their interpretation of her motivation, though. So I was wondering what you guys think it is. I'm not much of an expert on romantic jealousy (I've been lucky enough so far not to have felt it too much), but it seems to me like there's a difference between "He broke my heart - I'll make him pay" and "If I can't have him, no one can." Not that those two things are mutually exclusive, of course.
So what is she? Vengeful? Just plain messed-up? Both? Possibly either/or? I'm curious to hear other people's thoughts.
I voted for "either way" but I really meant "several ways". Eponine IS jealous and DOES want to lure Marius away from Cosette but that is only one side of the coin. She also desperately want to be with Marius. OMO describes that very good in my opinion. To make him go to the barricade also means to have him be a part of HER world. Barricades, violence, the streets of Paris, these are Eponine's books of study and she knows her way about those. To have him there means to have some hold on him Cosette doesn't have in her world of decorated rooms and gardens and robin's nests.
There can be no mistake that Eponine was jealous and that she wanted Marius to die rather than choose Cosette over her. Only when this possibility became probability she stopped the bullet with her own hand and paid with her life for it. I don't think she followed any straight line like "No-one shall have him", I think she was just voicing her thoughts and feelings among which jealousy was one when she lay dying. Love was another and it's the one she voices last and therefore I think Hugo did not want to judge her in the end or he wouldn't have let her pass with such a sweet and dignified confession on her lips.
Okay so I think its both ways. Eponine was just so obsessed/in love with Marius that it would kill her (metaphorically and literally) to see him with someone else, so she needed to do anything to prevent that, which included killing him. I think she does realise thats the wrong way to show him she loves him, and thats why she takes the bullet for him. Since she took the bullet, she wasn't entirly being vengeful. Eponine wasn't the sanist person either, so I don't think she was thinking straight and really confused.
So yes, she was vengeful, but at the same time she was messed up and desperate. Marius was the one good thing in her life, and now she can't even have that, so she can only think to have him die with her. Like, if if she was on trail for Marius' death, she would only be charged with manslaughter at the most, and probably be deemed mentally unfit. (in today's courts of course)