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The 7 Most Awkward Moments in Classic Literature, Ranked

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#2: Valjean, Javert, and Marius taking the most uncomfortable carriage ride ever

So, okay, we all know about the part at the end of the musical where Valjean is insisting he needs to get Marius to a doctor. Javert is saying “NO,” and then half a second later he’s like “OKAY FINE.” Valjean leaves, Javert swan-dives into the Seine, and that, as they say, is that.

Except in the book, there’s more. Javert allows Valjean to save Marius, but he calls a carriage so they can go together. They then proceed to ride all over Paris in COMPLETE AND UTTER SILENCE (“They did not open their lips again during the whole space of their ride”). Valjean is COVERED HEAD TO TOE IN SEWAGE. This is not a quick, leisurely jaunt. This is a long ride. This TAKES A WHILE. They finally drop off Marius, and then they get back in the cab and go to Valjean’s house. All while Valjean is smelling like butts and death, and neither of them are speaking.

Topics: Books
Tags: wuthering heights, books we love, hamlet, the great gatsby, pride and prejudice, the odyssey, classic literature, awkward moments, assigned reading, being awkward, oedipus rex, that awkward moment

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