Les Miserables (The musical) question

Has anyone stopped to ask about Marius and his revolutionary friends…what exactly are these entitled, wine-swilling, pinky-out, fists raised in the air kids fighting for?

(Reads the wiki article)

Ok, I’m still not seeing anything more convincing than a bunch of students taking over a university library and shouting dogma from the windows about Le Revolution and ‘all cops are pigs’

Even “Do You Hear the People Sing”, as rousing as it is…begs for someone after “…When tomorrow Commmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmes” and 2 minutes of applause to ask:

“Wait. So what exactly are we fighting for beyond…‘being a martyr and not being a slave again’? Cause I’m not a slave right now. I’m in university. I’m eating well. I’ve got friends. I’m obviously well off enough to spend hours in this fucking bar debating politics. Eponine there, her parents own another bar. Marius,…he’s been stalking some rich girl. How bad, exactly, do we have it here?”
And the fact that their naive notion that all of Paris would rise up for them fizzled so badly…really speaks to the ludicrousness of their plan.

I’m not clear on what you are asking, or what you are looking for. But I did see Les Mis on Broadway back during its initial run (in the 80s? I think?).

All I know is, I slept through the middle three hours. I saw the first three hours and the last three hours, but having slept through the middle three hours, I can’t really tell you what it was all about.

The entire point of the 1830 Revolution was for rich liberals to get rid of unfair rule by monarch and bring about unfair rule by rich liberals.

Plus a dummy monarch as figurehead. Everyone was happy except the Whites.
It’s also the story of the 19th century all over. The poor could be well satisfied by being told they were now in charge. The militarists ( such as the Bonapartists ) could be thrown a sop of power now and again; the Left could be throw a sop of power in alternation; the Church would kowtow to any regime which was in power; the bourgeoisie got richer. And the money kept rolling in.

Point of order, the Thénardiers do not own the tavern at this period. They lost the business and are living in Paris as grifters and running a small time criminal ring. When Thénardier sees Valjean, he (foolishly, of course) pins his ruin on Valjean not paying him enough for Cosette. In the novel, Eponine falls in love with Marius after she is sent by her father to Marius’s apartment when he first moves into the neighborhood to prostitute herself and then rob his apartment. Instead, to Eponine’s surprise and relief, Marius declines her advances and just talks to her for a while and she becomes infatuated with his kindness. They skip over that in the musical and just start with them as friends. But, yes, the students themselves were relatively wealthy and mainly slummed in the poor sections of town for street cred and to ingratiate themselves with the lower class.

This article gives the historical context of the short-lived revolution which is based on an actual event. The students were fighting for better conditions for the lower class and a closing of the gap between the elite and the poor. Give them a few hundred years and they could add student loans to the list.

Too late to edit: In the musical, Enjolras comes across as the leader of the whole event when, in reality, he likely would have been tied into a larger network of discontent and bubbling revolution and would have been more captain than general. Barricades went up around the city (alluded to when Enjolras gets reports of the other neighborhoods) from various groups of malcontents. Point being that it wasn’t six college kids sitting on a pile of furniture and the average guy in Paris would have known what they were fighting for.

That’s a nice Elephant.

In the book Marius is penniless at this time, having been disowned by his wealthy grandfather over differing political views. He is also not really part of Enjolras’ group, let alone one of the leaders; he’s just friends with a few of them. In fact, IIRC, he doesn’t particularly agree with their politics. He ends up at the barricade in more of a suicide by gendarme after it is apparent that he is going to lose Cosette forever (there was never a chance of “Shall I follow where she goes”).

There was a book.