Monsieur Gillenormand is Marius’ grandfather who prevents his father, Georges Pontmercy, from establishing any contacts with his son. He is a monarchist who supports the French king and rejects democracy. His visions are typical for an old bourgeois who does not accept any new political ideas and visions. Based on this reason, he hates Georges Pontmercy. He also fights with Marius because of his political views, and because of that, Marius has to leave the house and go to the Gorbeau tenement. Although Gillenormand does not share Marius’ visions in politics, he still loves him very much.
When Gillenormand kicks Marius out of the house, he believes that his grandson would be forced to come back and apologize as he would not be able to live without money. However, he did not realize that money is not the key to everything and that Marius can live on what he gets as a young lawyer. As a result, Marius never comes back, and Gillenormand suffers from loneliness and misses Marius every day. At the end of the book, when the revolution fails, and Marius is wounded, Marius and Gillenormand finally reunite, and during the last years of his life, Gillenormand experiences happiness.
M. Gillenormand in the Essays