Disclaimer: I have not had to do it before this, but I am mixing and matching from different translations in some of the quotes included here.Courfeyrac and Bossuet, whose brave good humor increased with the peril, like Madame Scarron, replaced nourishment with pleasantry, and, as wine was lacking, they poured out gayety to all.
"I admire Enjolras," said Bossuet. "His impassive temerity astounds me. He lives alone, which renders him a little sad, perhaps; Enjolras suffers from his greatness, which binds him to widowhood. The rest of us have mistresses, more or less, who make us crazy, that is to say, brave. When a man is as much in love as a tiger, the least that he can do is to fight like a lion. That is one way of taking our revenge for the capers that mesdames our grisettes play on us. Roland gets himself killed for Angelique; all our heroism comes from our women. A man without a woman is a pistol without a trigger; it is the woman that sets the man off. Well, Enjolras has no woman. He is not in love, and yet he manages to be intrepid. It is a thing unheard of that a man should be as cold as ice and as bold as fire."
Enjolras did not appear to be listening, but had any one been near him, that person would have heard him mutter in a low voice: "Patria."
-from Chapter 14, Book I, Volume V
Whenever I get to contemplating Enjolras and relationships, that is the passage that comes to my mind. Canon really does not give much about Enjolras's relationships with anyone. The other Amis chat with each other at various points -- gossip*, whine, mock, rant -- but Enjolras is basically all business, all the time. If he talks to someone, it is usually either a Big Speech or a terse order (or, in the case of Grantaire, perhaps an insult). (Sort of into extremes, this guy. Go figure.) So trying to figure out how to relate to people in camp? The vast majority of it is my personal interpretation and speculation, because in canon, despite being all for the People, Enjolras just does not really relate to people. At all.
First of all, concerning non-romantic relationships, the passage quoted above is canon evidence that Enjolras's friends talk about him as if he is not even there. In other words, while being talked about behind his back (*coughMegan&MariuscoughUmeda&Ncough*) or as if he is not there might mildly irritate him, he ignores it for the most part. To me, it implies a certain distance between Enjolras and his friends -- while mocking your friends in the third person is a source of amusement, this passage has always struck me as a little weird.
Enjolras really is more of a symbolic character than an especially human character in the book, which makes playing him as a "real person" both interesting and a little problematic at times, with the way that he is objectified by both the author and his own friends. (This can be troublesome in trying to keep him "real" but IC -- a lot of him is defined by how others relate to him as a sort of "unreal" person, so people treating him as "real" puts me into an area with next to no canon support!) While Enjolras may have his little posse of Les Amis, he is very much not "one of the guys". In fact, sociable and jolly fellows such as Courfeyrac and Bossuet seem almost alien to him. Still, canon describes Les Amis as all being bound together by their shared passion for justice and country (they all "held the same religion: Progress"), so he isn't totally
disconnected from others -- he just connects through a common purpose rather than in more normal, "social" ways.
With Enjolras, I am basically approaching relationships from two directions: 1) commonality of purpose and shared ideals, and 2) personal affinity. His strongest relationships are, obviously, ones that grow from both directions (e.g. Combeferre, from back home). He will bond more strongly with you through the first, but that is obviously in somewhat short supply here at camp. So #2 is getting some exercise. It is likely that he will get a little better at not being such a distant block of ice to everyone but a select few, but there is a limit for how far that can pushed.
Moving on to romance and sex -- classprotector
are sadly not too far off the mark
. "Patria" is Latin for "country" or "homeland". (Hence the username! With French because -- I mean, really.) The passage quoted above is all "france is enjolras's g/f lolz". And because I love to complicate things like this, I really am letting the patriotism bleed over into all other parts of his life, and am playing Enjolras as a guy who has a significant other back at home. Only his s.o. happens to be his home.
Of course, if you ever phrased it that way, Enjolras would look at you as though you were crazy. I don't have him thinking about France/himself in that particular metaphorical context at the current time, despite what Kio might claim about Enjolras and the Eiffel Tower. Things concerning romance are not part of Enjolras's personal life at all; it's just not part of his worldview. So, while he's a smart guy, unless you are being as clear and direct as humanly possible, romantic/sexual stuff is likely to fly completely over his head. (...some of you have already encountered this.) Once he gets the clue, he'll keep it and be able to use it regarding that particular situation, etc., but we're talking a blank slate here.
...It has been too long without a song. Here, have some song lyrics. In my canon pimping post, I had uploaded "Anthem" from Chess
, and I feel that I need to put the lyrics here -- to me, this song is about as Enjolraic as you can get. The music itself is very grand, dignified and soaring; sung by Anthony Warlow on his Centre Stage
album, it is quite beautiful.( Anthem )
How lovely and pure.
It is canon that Enjolras spurns romance with women. Of course, the implication of that is that Enjolras is just a 100% Virginal, No Romance Zone. I'm playing Enjolras as being more comfortable around men just because in his time and environment, he is accustomed to hanging out with the guys and rarely interacts with women (despite my joking, he doesn't really hate women). So that is the gender thing we have going here. As for the romance thing, there is perhaps a 1% chance of such a thing happening. Just not in the personality. An enjoyable romantic evening for Enjolras is probably something like reading Rousseau together and debating the impact of the most recent parliamentary elections after having spent a few hours networking with other fine, upstanding men intent on overthrowing the government. (Though there is always, I suppose, some nice and manly companionable silence.) As for the virginal thing -- dude, look at the guy's purity test results. (The gayness is all from you, Marius. WTF, man, WTF.) He's human, yeah, but sex is about the last thing on his mind.
But let us return to that "he's human" part for a moment.
So. All of his devotion going toward France. Here comes the big surprise: bitch ain't giving nothin' back. (Unless we fast-forward to 1832, when she doles out a big-ass heap of bullet-riddled death.) There are some limitations to this "relationship" here. Because you know what? A country cannot hang out with you and say something stupid to cheer you up when you are feeling down. A country cannot give you a hug. A country just, you know, lacks
certain things because it's a god damned country plus a bag of ideals
. The perhaps 8% chance of Enjolras ever getting into a relationship with someone that extends beyond friendship comes from that fact, though unless Enjolras ever gets his relationship issues straightened out (i.e. country =/= person, and one can simultaneously have a large amount of devotion to both), the person would have to be willing to take a distant second to France.
So basically? We pretty much have a one-sided, slightly dysfunctional relationship going on here. Enjolras himself is happy with the way things are for him back home, but he's not so comfortable in the situation at camp. With the, you know, distinct lack of France and the ability to do anything about it.
As something of a postscript to this canon-babble, as far as my personal Les Mis shipping preferences go, it is probably rather obvious that I am a Combeferre/Enjolras fan, though that is more out of my fondness for, and resultant championing of, Combeferre than anything else. I used that in my app because Combeferre's role in life is to be Useful. I ♥ Combeferre, which probably bleeds into my Enjolras more than it should. Fangirling aside, though, I do consider Combeferre to be Enjolras's closest friend and that if Enjolras could be said to need any person, it would be him -- he does "complement and correct" Enjolras, after all. And-
Fuck. Complementary colors have never been the same to me ever since Saiyuki
*To paraphrase a snippet of conversation overheard in the back room of the Café Musain...
Joly: My girlfriend
who's part of that threesome with Bossuet and me
is being a bitch.
Bahorel: Dude, just wear some tight leather pants and that ho will be all over you.
...all right, so that is a very loose paraphrasing. Nevertheless.