The deaths of Enjolras and Grantaire
|Created by||Victor Hugo|
Grantaire (French pronunciation: [Grɑ̃-tər]) is a fictional character from the 1862 novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. He is labelled as one of the principal characters of the revolutionary group known as the Friends of the ABC. The friends of the ABC are known to tolerate him on account of his good humour according to the novel and has a few close friends within the group. Grantaire is known as the skeptic of the group and is described as someone whose mind 'could get along without belief, but his heart could not get along without friendship' in the novel. He too is a student and from the South. Grantaire is the one person within the group that knows the best places for everything in Paris and also knows boxing, foot-fencing and some dances. He is in the habit of signing himself with his rebus: R and at one point in the Musain, Bossuet calls him "Capital R." He is a rover, a gambler, a libertine, and often drunk.
Grantaire is described as "particularly ugly" or "inordinately homely," The opposite of Enjolras, who was described as having "...long fair lashes, blue eyes, that hair flying in the wind, rosy cheeks, pure lips, exquisite teeth".
Grantaire was a skeptic, believing in nothing, claiming to know nothing, with no values or goals. He took little interest in the cause of the revolutionary students. His venerance and admiration for Enjolras's character is the main reason that Grantaire spends time with Les Amis de l'ABC (Friends of the ABC), despite Enjolras's scorn for his skepticism.
All those words- rights of the people, rights of man, humanity, civilization, religion, progress- were very near meaningless to Grantaire. He smiled at them. Skepticism, that dry rot of the intellect, had left not one entire idea in his mind. He lived in irony. This was his one axiom: The one certainly is a full glass. He ridiculed all dedication under all circumstances...
Grantaire had very little part to play in the fictitious planning of the June Rebellion. He was not an official member of the Friends of the ABC, but was always present, usually intoxicated. He stayed due to his complete and utter admiration, veneration, and love for Enjolras. Enjolras and Grantaire are compared to Orestes and Pylades as one cannot come without the other, they are inseparable. In the novel, Grantaire is described as 'always harshly treated by Enjolras.' On the day of the rebellion, Grantaire is unconscious from drink, and wakes up only when Enjolras is about to be executed. Grantaire walks in front of the firing squad calling, "Vive la République," or "Long Live the Republic," and chooses to die with him, hand in hand.