Comparasion and Contrast: Les Misérables and Of Mice and Men

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When reading two books, it is easy to compare and contrast the many differences between them. Whether you focus on the purposes, themes, impacts, or even just the general content, it’s not hard to spot how writers and topics and novels and novellas differ from each other. In example, take Les Misérables and Of Mice and Men. Les Misérables focuses on a convict, Jean Valjean, and his struggle to be an honest man and make up for past mistakes and wrongdoings. Of Mice and Men focuses on two brothers, George and Lenny, and their struggle to make a living in hard times while one of them is at a permanent disadvantage. Both have some similar pieces and nuances, but this essay will focus on three topics in specific. It will focus on the purpose(s)/intent(s), theme(s), and the impact they had on upcoming writers in their respective times.
Purpose/intent of a book is, essentially, the meaning or ideas or feeling a book is meant to convey. In Les Misérables, the purpose is to reflect the views and thoughts of Victor Hugo concerning reform, and show the effects of what happened during and because of the French Revolution. It goes on to display the injustices going on in nineteenth century France. For Of Mice and Men, the intent focuses more on morals. It shows morals and the potential moral ambiguity, and makes a reader likely question their morals.
Victor Hugo’s views and thoughts on reform are based very much around factual events and things he went through and people he met in his life, something easily reflected in Les Misérables. He accomplishes a goal of showing philosophical turmoil and showcasing the injustices of the time beautifully, but subtly. The other novel being taken into consideration in this essay, Of Mice and Men, makes i...

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...ioning morals, and both gave future writers a chance to showcase social structures and how hazardous they can be. On top of this, both gave a chance for more platonic relationships to take the stage in books. Les Misérables, specifically, opened more doors in questioning if the law was/is right or wrong, showed a new side to revolution and insurgents, and gave writers a wider field to bring in romance and compassion on more than standard or romantic terms.
All in all, both of these books were a fantastic read and should continue to be recommended and read for years to come. Reading them would be especially helpful to anyone looking for more insight on how to convey hazardous social structures, too. They share common (and different) purposes, themes, impacts, characters, and styles. Each difference and each similarity is just as important as the next or last, too.

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