Thursday, 27 September 2012

Character Thursday: Mr. Bienvenu Myriel

Actually it's still hard for me to write about him. Remember what I said about writing about someone you really like? When I didn't avoid writing about Athos, the blog post consumed 2 normal LibreOffice pages. So, why Mr Bienvenu?

I read Les Miserables, if you remember, after a succession of adventure novels: The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, Ivanhoe, and Robin Hood. In all those books, ironically, bishops and cardinals are more men of gold than men of God. Their conducts are unworthy of the title and the honour people bestow upon them. They plunder people's wealth to fill their own purse, they oppress kings and nobles by the “word from God”, they plunge themselves into political intrigue and support one side or the other.

But Mr. Myriel is different. People call him Monsieur Welcome (Bienvenu) because he welcomes anyone to his house. He lives a poor life because he spends most of his time and money for the poor. He shows extraordinary courage and too, extraordinary humbleness, and shows the world that the two don't contradict each other.

The Bishop thinks a lot, meditates on a lot of things, the least is about himself. He thinks about the people, the country, the flowers, the animals, but not about his wealth, his ambitions, his position, or his prominence. The pure soul lives happily, content with what he has. He takes money from the merciful rich for the miserable poor. He consoles and reproves gently, motivate people to do good things in their lives. He teaches that it's our responsibility to do our best, imperfect as we are.

“To be a saint is the exception; to be an upright man is the rule. Err, fall, sin if you will, but be upright...The least possible sin is the law of man. No sin at all is the dream of the angel. All which is terrestrial is subject to sin. Sin is a gravitation.”

His worst fault is, perhaps, his political view. No, not that I am against royalist or pro-anything. It's just weird to see such a man having a political view at the first place. But the difference between his and other people's view doesn't hinder him from doing kindness to his neighbours. It's still counted as something good in his part.

I have to confess, it's all my mistake. I have so many things to share about this bishop, and I have plenty of quotations from the novel itself of the grandness of his soul. But I didn't highlight the novel when I perused it, something I have to change in the future. Still, there is something I want to share, a note Mr. Myriel writes about God on the margin of his book:

“Ecclesiastes calls you the All-powerful; the Maccabees call you the Creator; the Epistle to the Ephesians calls you liberty; Baruch calls you Immensity; the Psalms call you Wisdom and Truth; John calls you Light; the Books of Kings call you Lord; Exodus calls you Providence; Leviticus, Sanctity; Esdras, Justice; the creation calls you God; man calls you Father; but Solomon calls you Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all your names.”

And as the God he believes in, he shows compassion lavishly towards people.  


Character Thursday
Adalah book blog hop di mana setiap blog memposting tokoh pilihan dalam buku yang sedang atau telah dibaca selama seminggu terakhir (judul atau genre buku bebas).
- Kalian bisa menjelaskan mengapa kalian suka/benci tokoh itu, sekilas kepribadian si tokoh, atau peranannya dalam keseluruhan kisah.
- Jangan lupa mencantumkan juga cover buku yang tokohnya kalian ambil.
- Kalau buku itu sudah difilmkan, kalian juga bisa mencantumkan foto si tokoh dalam film, atau foto aktor/aktris yang kalian anggap cocok dengan kepribadian si tokoh.

Syarat Mengikuti :
1. Follow blog Fanda Classiclit sebagai host, bisa lewat Google Friend Connect (GFC) atau sign up via e-mail (ada di sidebar paling kanan). Dengan follow blog ini, kalian akan selalu tahu setiap kali blog ini mengadakan Character Thursday Blog Hop.
2. Letakkan button Character Thursday Blog Hop di posting kalian atau di sidebar blog, supaya follower kalian juga bisa menemukan blog hop ini. Kodenya bisa diambil di kotak di button.
3. Buat posting dengan menyertakan copy-paste “Character Thursday” dan “Syarat Mengikuti” ke dalam postingmu.
3. Isikan link (URL) posting kalian ke Linky di bawah ini. Cantumkan nama dengan format: Nama blogger @ nama blog, misalnya: Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit.
4. Jangan lupa kunjungi blog-blog peserta lain, dan temukan tokoh-tokoh pilihan mereka. Dengan begini, wawasan kita akan bertambah juga dengan buku-buku baru yang menarik


  1. is he the main character ? Makes me wanna read too, hopelly by the end of this year :D and yes, quotation and quotation --- can live without it hahaha

  2. Seriously, he's not. He appears only in the first Volume, perhaps. But the book is truly worth reading.

  3. it must be comforting reading about something that we (or you, in this case) believe as it should be.. yeah, though he's not as ideal as you expected

  4. Yes, it is. Reading about such person makes me think that there are still good people in the world who care. He cannot end all sufferings, but as he says, he does his best.

  5. Ah reminded me of Monsieur Bienvenue... :D I forgot the details, but I remember his kindness to everyone, and how he always welcome others who visit him. The kind of bishop or a priest I dream to have...

  6. Monsieur Myriel seemed unreal. But I think he's a character Victor Hugo created as a role model. His conduct is Christlike in almost every way... take the light (Myriel) and the dark (Valjean) to meet, and then you'll have an explosion of divine transformation. Love and kindness DOES changes things.

  7. @Fanda: I think Hugo might want him to personify Christ himself (just like Mel says). That's why he is so good.

    @Mel: You're right. The interaction between the two is inspirational to anyone who reads it.