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Enjolras is the leader of Les Amis de l'ABC (the Friends of the ABC), a group of students dedicated to political


How to Pronounce Enjolras

change in France. In the original French, the name of the group is a pun on Les Amis de l'abaissé, the friends of the oppressed, "that is to say, the people", writes Hugo. "They wished to elevate the people. It was a pun which we should do wrong to smile at."[1] As he and his friends engage in political debate, Enjolras expresses complete faith in the future in a lengthy speech beginning with the question: "Citizens, where are we going?" His answer is: "Citizens, the nineteenth century is great, but the twentieth century will be happy.... We can almost say, there will be no more events. We shall be happy.... [T]he human race will be delivered, relieved, and consoled."[2]

Enjolras and the rest of the Friends of the ABC join thepopular revolt against the monarchy and build a barricade outside of a wine shop in the Rue de la Chanverrerie. Enjolras is the leader of the group manning the barricade. After one of their number shoots an innocent citizen, Enjolras promptly executes him. It's mentioned that the executed revolutionary was in reality Claquesous, a member of the Patron-Minette, and that he had been hired to stir up chaos amongst the revolutionaries. Shooting this man causes a dramatic shift in Enjolras' demeanor; he turns fatalistic with regards to his own impending death. He says, "Compelled to do what I have done, but abhorring it, I have judged myself also.... It will come, citizens, that day when all shall be concord... and it is so that it may come that we are going to die." [3] This is the first point during the June Rebellion at which the Friends of the ABC acknowledge that they will likely die.

The students mourn the death of Mabeuf and plan what to do with Javert. They decide to keep him as a hostage. Enjolras sends five men away from the barricade, realizing that those at the barricade will die. Valjean arrives at the barricade. Enjolras orders Javert's execution; Valjean leads Javert away, and sets him free instead.

When the barricade falls, Enjolras retreats into the wine shop. He alone is left untouched by bullets and wounds. Grantaire, awakening from a drunken stupor, asks to be shot with Enjolras. The soldiers execute them both and Enjolras is pierced by eight bullets.

Friends of the ABC[]

The Friends of the ABC (French: Les Amis de l'ABC) is a fictional association of revolutionary French republican students featured in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. In French, the name of the society is a pun, in which abaissés (the "lowly" / "abased"), is pronounced [abese], very similar to A-B-C ([ɑ be se]). They represent a wide variety of political viewpoints, but on 5 June 1832 they all join the popular insurrection known as the June Rebellion and organize the construction of a barricade. Hugo brings them into the narrative when Marius Pontmercy, one of the novel's principal characters, attaches himself to the group without becoming one of them. All of the members of the group die during the rebellion.

The Friends of the ABC is a reference to the historical Society of the Rights of Man. Hugo comments on the Rights of Man society in the novel, describing the many spin-off sub-groups in Paris and elsewhere:[1] The Society of the Rights of Man engendered the Society of Action. These were impatient individuals who broke away and hastened ahead. Other associations sought to recruit themselves from the great mother societies....Then the Society of Equal Workingmen which was divided into three fractions, the levellers, the communists, the reformers. Then the Army of the Bastilles, a sort of cohort organized on a military footing...The central committee, which was at the head, had two arms, the Society of Action, and the Army of the Bastilles...A legitimist association, the Chevaliers of Fidelity, stirred about among these the republican affiliations. It was denounced and repudiated there... In Paris, the Faubourg Saint-Marceau kept up an equal buzzing with the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and the schools were no less moved than the faubourgs. A cafe in the Rue Saint-Hyacinthe and the wine shop of the Seven Billiards, Rue des Mathurins-Saint-Jacques, served as rallying points for the students. The Society of the Friends of the A B C affiliated to the Mutualists of Angers, and to the Cougourde of Aix, met, as we have seen, in the Cafe Musain.


  • Perhaps it's a reference to some sort of politcal group or student society, perhaps just for a group hoping to inspire and wage revolution against the 'monarchy'.
  • Perhaps a reference to being barricaded in at some location, being aware of his impending death.