Les Miserables: Novel Summary: Section 3 - Book Two

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Section 3 - Marius
Book Two - The Grand Bourgeois
This book describes the household of Monsieur Gillenormand, a grand old man of more than ninety years of age whose habits and mannerisms were those of the 18th century. He had an unmarried daughter of more than fifty years of age who lived with him and whom he verbally abused on a regular basis. He was a true royalist and had nothing but contempt for revolutionaries. His younger daughter had died at age thirty. She had brought disgrace to the family by marrying a soldier of the Republic who had fought for Napoleon at Austerlitz and been made a colonel at Waterloo. The older daughter was a prude but loved her grandnephew, an officer of the lancers named Theodule. In this household there was also a young boy (the son of the younger daughter and her soldier husband) who was timid and mute before his grandfather.
Analysis
M. Gillenormand is an ardent supporter of the Bourbons in complete contrast to his daughter who married Pontmercy, a supporter of Napoleon. Gillenormand's beliefs are so strong that he disowns his daughter as a result of these political differences and when she dies, he forces Pontmercy to turn his child over to him. Being poor, Pontmercy concedes and Gillenormand raises his grandson, Marius, to hate his father and his father's beliefs.

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