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Barricade of dreams: feminism

“Life has killed the dream I dreamed,” Fantine screamed as she felt that her entire being had died. Les Miserables is a film adapted from Victor Hugo’s novel that shows the struggles of the French people in life. Les Miserables took place between the late 1700s and early 1800s in France. During this time, social injustice was a common occurrence among the people. An example of this is the unequal treatment of women towards men. Women were treated like objects and were expected to be good followers or else they were deprived of the right to live a peaceful life. That is why this review will focus on Fantine who symbolizes the women who were and are continually judged and degraded.

Les Miserables begins with a scene in which the prisoners are transporting a ship, and one of them is Jean Valjean. He runs away from Javert, who was in charge of parole him, and decides to start over with the help of Bishop Myriel. After a while, he became the mayor of a town. On the other hand, Fantine, a factory girl, was fired from her job when her secret was discovered: that she has a son. She entered a life of prostitution; Valjean saved her from going to prison and promised her, before she died, that she would take care of Cosette; and so she took Cosette from the Thénardiers, where Cosette was staying. Years passed and a love triangle blossomed between Cosette, Marius and Eponine. Meanwhile, the Friends of the ABC start a rebellion and build a barricade with Valjean and Gavroche, a young man from the streets of Paris, on their side. Marius also helps the group but he is not one of them. Gavroche dies as well as the members of the group while Marius survives with the help of Valjean. Javert, on the other hand, commits suicide. Valjean hid in a convent; Marius and Cosette came to him after his marriage. They knew of his whereabouts through the Thenardiers. At the end of it all, Valjean finally received peace. Now that the summary of the film is finished, let’s move on to the central theme of this review: Fantine, a symbol of women who were and are continually judged and demeaned.

Fantine is a single mother who works in a factory so she can send money to Cosette. Everything goes crazy when she reveals her secret, that she has a child without being married. She was fired from her job because of it, as having children and being single was totally unacceptable during that time. People looked at her differently and perceived her as a whore. Fantine was demoted by the society she was in because her situation was so scandalous. The value of women is taken for granted. They are being treated like toys, they are being manipulated. One wrong move from them and society will automatically judge their whole being. Fantine was deprived of the opportunity to live a normal life; she was continually being shaken, being used by different men. Her value as a woman was long gone now. Women shouldn’t be treated like gum on the sidewalk; no one should step on them. Women and men must have the same rights; women should not be ignored in society. We all have our own value and each one has their own right to live a life free from drama and free from the pains that society can throw at us.

Overall, the movie was very well done! Each of the actors played their roles very well and knew how to do justice to the personality and feelings of the characters they play. The setting of the film is also very good, because it conveys the right feeling to the audience. I feel like I really knew what happened and the environment helped me open my eyes and see things on a larger scale. It helped me see history in a certain way where reality seemed too surreal because I didn’t expect France to have that background. Also, it was really cool and I loved every moment of it.

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