Les Mis – Act VII [Finale]
Act VII – Paradise
Referring back to the character guide, we see that all of the characters with black have died off except for ValJean. Of the three main female characters, both Fantine and Eponine have rested in peace, and Cosette remains. Of the three main male characters, only the revolutionary has died – Marius remains, and so does 24601.
As last the dream of togetherness is fulfilled – and Marius and Cosette are married. Let one thing lingers, and that is ValJean’s reluctance to let Cosette know of his past. He is still ashamed of the past. Something comes to set the course in a new direction, and surprisingly, that something comes in the form of the evil inn-keeper.
He comes in, the Accuser of the Brethren, to blackmail Marius about the crimes of ValJean. Marius has had quite enough of the Inn-Keepers crap, learns that ValJean saved his life, learns where ValJean is located (where he is hiding), and throws the Inn-Keepers out. The blackmail, the ransom, it’s done and gone and rejected.
Finally, then, half-awake, ValJean asks, “Am I forgiven?” Once he thinks this way, that his sins are covered and gone, not held against him, then he becomes completely open and transparent – he confesses his past even to Cosette. Once he has done this, he has found peace and rests in peace (death).
Now – this is the conclusion. Of the main characters (refer to part 1, and the chart of the main character progressing through time), 2 female characters have died off, leaving just Cosette. 2 male characters have now died off, leaving just Marius. Cosette and Marius are married together – and life is good. Love has been reached. Thus, we see “paradise” (even Marius and Cosette are seen there) and it’s the end of the story.
Notes on Act VII:
This is the stage when it’s “happily ever after,” which looks like paradise. Until we reach heaven, until we have perfect love, we do not have happily ever after. But this is the final stage of the journey. After everything else is said and done, we who are saved by grace find forgiveness and paradise under God’s direct rule.
Physical Riches (had by Marius and Cosette) are working out, and in the larger scale even all of the dead characters are free, loved, and happy. The dream (of togetherness) is seen in reality – togetherness and love has happened.
Because forgiveness has been internalized, final transparency is reached – there is no more ransom (the guy who charges that sort of thing got blatantly kicked out) and there is also no more condemnation or chasing of people by the law (Javert).
There are no more questions or cries, only answers and happiness. The decisions made include Marius’ decision not to tolerate or respect the accuser or his attempts to shame Valjean, and also Valjean’s decision to interalize that forgiveness was finally offered by God and to keep no more secrets.