On My Own: What Les Misérables Teaches Us about SCGs

By Casey Nordman

First of all, if you are one of the 16 people in the world have no clue what Les Misérables is, stop reading this right now and go watch it. You have an English major’s blessing to watch the movie, partly because the book is long and weighty, and I would still like you to read this post when you have your youth. So go watch it, take your sides on the Anne Hathaway debate (She’s the perfect film Fantine. The other people are wrong.), enjoy the exceptionally mediocre vocal stylings of Russell Crowe and watch Hugh Jackman grow old before your eyes.

Welcome back to those who went and watched the movie, and those who were lost in thought over who could possibly think Anne Hathaway was the wrong choice (Okay, last one).

Now, if you happen to be a reader of this blog, you have perhaps read my post about my ever-growing research on the Bro Zone. You may be concerned given the punishing bro-zoning of Eponine in Les Mis that I am going to reprise my theories in this post. While it certainly is a stunning specimen (much like Eddie Redmayne, the bro-zoner in the movie, is a stunning specimen), this post will not be centered on the Bro Zone.

Let’s consider instead how willingly we as Single Christian Girls subscribe to the belief that we’re Eponines. How do we know we’re Eponines? Because we’ve met some Cosettes.

The Cosettes

les miserables cosette and marius

These women somehow manage to love Jesus and look like Anthropologie models and they usually have one incredible skill that you can’t possibly imagine yourself having. She’s an amateur pastry chef. She’s an aspiring photographer whose casual Instagrams shame your best profile picture endeavors. She knits scarves for shivering kittens. In addition to their shining skill, Cosettes have a man. They met their now or future husbands in their freshman dorm, or they’ve been betrothed since before they started memorizing Bible verses together in Sunday School. Or, like in Les Mis, they locked eyes for 12 seconds one fine day (probably at a worship event on campus) and the love-struck Marius tracked her down and they’ve been together ever since. These are the Cosettes of the SCG world.

Why the Cosettes Don’t Make Us Eponines

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Sure, we all may have a day that makes us want to wander around in the rain lamenting unrequited love. We may have a guy we’re crushing on who doesn’t know we exist or who can’t stop staring at a blonde soprano. It happens, and it’s rough.  We may also have times of looking on the lives of our Cosette sisters with good-hearted incredulous curiosity, e.g., “I went to the same fall retreat and did not come back with a boyfriend,” or “How does she wear those patterned jeggings and not look like a 1990s music video audition reject?”

However, the presence of a Marius or Cosette in our lives does not define us as an Eponine. Victor Hugo is a keen observer of the human struggle, but it doesn’t mean we’re stranded in one of his archetypes. We may walk and talk and quack like Eponines at times, but we will not—I repeat, we will not—die on a barricade for the sake of theatrical pathos.

Where This Leaves Us

I don’t want to you to think I’m demonizing anyone. I love the Cosettes in my life, as I’m sure you love the ones in yours, as difficult as it is occasionally to believe they exist.  What I want you to know, SCG, is that you’re not a victim. You’re not a martyr, either. You’re [hopefully] not a pitiful girl with pickpocket parents. Stop acting like one.

So who are you—who are you? YOU’RE JEAN VAL JEAN!

Sorry, couldn’t resist. You’re actually Enjolras.

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You have something worth dying on a barricade for, but it’s not a boy. It’s a revolution. Be bold. Be a leader. But maybe don’t take yourself as seriously as that bro.

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2 thoughts on “On My Own: What Les Misérables Teaches Us about SCGs

  1. Hey Claire… Thank you sooooo much for your blog! I came across it last week, when I was going through one of my downer nights, wondering if I was going to be alone forever and it eventually had be cackling with laughter!!!! I love that you say it how it is!
    I’m actually replying with regards to your Les Mis article… Just tonight I was informed by a guy friend that he has feelings for a girl friend of mine I introduced him to at my birthday party about a month ago. (I have to inject here to say I have had a little crush on this guy for the last 4 years. Pathetic, I know.)
    How in circumstances like this does one not feel rejected and like absolute crap?? I am angry and I’ve told them both that I cant talk to them for while.
    I’ve had 2 people tell me this week that I am going to find love this year… Ironic, I know! Guess its not him. Oh well. Trying to stay faithful, but it hurts like crazy.
    Well, thats my story for tonight (yes, its just after midnight here in South Africa)… Just thought to share.
    Love your blog! Keep writing please!!

    1. Hey Karen! Glad you like the blog and that it made you laugh. I.e. The Les Mis post … It clearly happens a lot – I’m sure your awesome and this situation is probably just a little bump in the road in what will be the amazing story of your life! Also, I’ve been to South Africa and loved it! How great that you get to live there!

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