It’s been a while since I set any fictional characters up on a date, and the time has come. As you recall, the rules for Literary Love Connection are simple. I choose two fictional characters. I send them on a fake date. I watch imaginary sparks fly. Who will join Snaponine, Scarcliff, Minurtagh, and Arigo in the mildly disturbing ranks of my oddball couples? Read on, my friends!
Today’s Bachelor is Jean Valjean from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (review). Jean has a checkered past, but after a meaningful encounter with a clergyman, he’s sought to live a virtuous life raising a beautiful and precocious daughter.
Today’s Bachelorette is Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester’s checkered past begins with a meaningful encounter with a clergyman (AHEM), and with only a wee bit of defiance, she has sought to live a virtuous life while raising a beautiful and precocious daughter (who might be a little evil.)
Date Takes Place In Wooded Area Outside Boston
Jean: Bonjour, Madamoiselle. Your gown is so beautifully embroidered.
Hester: I thank thee. Unfortunately, the embroidery you admire is the evidence of my sin.
Jean: I have tried for years to atone for my sins! I was inspired by the holiest of men to turn my life around. Alas, I was thwarted at every turn by an unfair and antiquated justice system! And this complete jerk of a cop… You seriously would not believe this guy…
Hester: I have tried to atone for my sin by embracing it… Fashionably. After owning up to adultery, why not add vanity to the list? Of course, none of this would be necessary if it weren’t for this Puritanical justice system.
Jean: Was your clergyman as kind and loving as mine?
Hester: In a manner of speaking…
Jean: And your beautiful daughter! This is how a young girl should be raised. You wouldn’t believe how I found my beloved Cossette!
Hester: Found? She’s not the child of your loins?
Jean: No, her mother, Fantine, was a prostitute. I promised to care for the child as my own on her death bed.
Hester: So you’re ammenable to raising children that aren’t yours, and you don’t mind ladies who aren’t, perhaps, the most pure? What do you say we sit side by side in contemplative silence?
Jean: It is my greatest wish!