I hope that everyone participating in this read along enjoyed the first section as much as I did. I’ll be answering the questions in the comments, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by how easily and quickly it read.
Here are the questions I came up with for Section One Books 1 – 6. Feel free to respond to one or all of them. If you have questions of your own, please share them, too.
Leading up to this challenge, what was your experience with Les Misérables and Victor Hugo?
What, if any, were your expectations of this book when you began?
How was your reading experience with our first section (Section One Book 1 through Book 6)? What stood out to you the most?
Why do think that Hugo named the first section Fantine, especially when so many of those pages were focused on the Monseigneur of Digne and Jean Valjean?
What are your thoughts on Fantine? She loved the father of her child, but he left her. She then, in order to find work, left her daughter with complete strangers. Does this say anything about her character? Would her fate have been any different if the Thénardiers were kind people or would she have ended up on the streets as she did eventually? What did Monsieur Madeleine see in her?
What are your thoughts on Jean Valjean and Monsieur Madeleine? What role did society and the French penal system play in his changes from youth to middle age? What do you think might have happened to him had he not found Monseigneur of Digne? What did Monseigneur of Digne see in Jean Valjean? Was Monseigneur of Digne the only factor that made Jean Valjean turn his life around?