Les Miserables Connections to Charity Essay

Les Miserables Connections to Charity Essay

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True virtue has no limits, but goes on and on, and especially holy charity, which is the virtue of virtues, and which having a definite object, would become infinite if it could meet with a heart capable of infinity.
-St. Francis de Sales

It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for "God is Charity" (1 John 4:8)

-St. Albert the Great

The heartfelt emotion of charity shines throughout Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Each character shows love and charity differently to numerous people. Charity can also be called “love” from the various translations of the King James Bible. Jesus Christ imitates the perfect way to express charity. His example represents the perfect way for people to show the feeling of love within their heart to the others around them.
Jean Valjean understands the deep emotions felt when the desire to love others persists in one’s heart. Valjean originally felt this desire specifically within his own family. Though during his years in prison, he lost it. In striving to feed his starving family by stealing a loaf of bread, Valjean earned himself “nineteen years” in prison. “He entered in 1796 for having broken a pane of glass and taken a loaf of Bread” (Hugo 86) Valjean loved his family so dearly that he risked rotting in jail rather than seeing them starve. He demonstrates pure charity in this act, for no sane person, would risk his life for others, unless his motivations lie in love. Then love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7) Valjean perfectly demonstrates the infinite measures people will take out of l...


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...t of everything he did, and takes his own life. The fact that Javert never caught Javert shows that love and goodness always prevails over evil. Also Javert’s misunderstanding of the evil he did, thinking that he served justice instead of just giving undignified law, shows his unlove. For God says “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)



Works Cited


God. Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. New York: American Bible Society, 1989. Print.

US Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Complete Edition ed. N.p.: US. Catholic Church, n.d. Print.

Hugo, Victor. Les Miserables. Comp. Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee. Trans. Wilbour, C.E. Only Complete and Unabridged Paperback Editon ed. New York, New York: Signet Classics, 1987. Print.

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