"Is there not in every human soul, was there not in the particular soul of Jean VaIjean, a primitive spark, a divine element, incorruptible in this world, immortal in the next, which can be developed by good, kindled, lit up, and made resplendently radiant, and which evil can never entirely extinguish." (Hugo, p. 78)
Victor Hugo's 1862 epic novel Les Miserables ranks among the literary greats of the 19th Century. Despite its awesome length, it has remained as one of the most approachable readings of literature. The tale of Jean Va1jean, the hero in the novel, is a fascinating story that beckons readers to turn the pages at a finious, pace. Since the novel is divided into several segments with names of the characters as the titles, the reader will realize that Les Miserables is a novel exploring the relationship of personal and communal destinies. As we progress through the pages, we witness the transformation of our outlaw protagonist and his persistent strivings, to overcome his despair and egotism. The reader will feel from Vaijean's adventures, that the moral character can and does grow, no matter how his previous devastating experiences had hardened him. Since Valjean is the unifying centre of the action in the novel, his moral and spiritual growth through his interaction with characters in Les Miserables will give credence to the earlier proposition that the moral character can evolve.
To examine the moral growth of Jean Valjean, it would be useful to establish his initial mental shape and thoughts. From the moment he appeared in the novel, Jean Valjean was depicted as a man against himself Freed from prison after serving an unjust sentence of nineteen years for the the...
... middle of paper ...
...e bishop in Digne and his tremendous moral and spiritual growth. By pursuing his unerring moral course, going to the foulest of depths, Jean Valjean had emerged entirely transformed and transfigured. Despite the adversities and dilemmas, he never lost track of his moral bearings and came out of the stem examination of his conscience stronger. His spiritual itinerary had brought him to experience and triumph over the testing demonic forces of despair, hate and pain. The holy bishop would be pleased to know lies had brought him to Heaven and led another man to his salvation.
(1) Jean Valjean's passport had indicated that he was a dangerous man since he had escaped twice from the galleys.
(2) Champmathieu was a man accused in Arras of being the fugitive Jean Valjean. If convicted as Valjean, Champmathieu would be sentenced to life in the galleys.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The effects of love are different for each individual. Professor John Cacioppo discovered, “... love deprivation, unrequited love and loneliness have negative consequences on work performance and mental health...40 percent of people who are rejected in love experience depression” (A). Those who have happy childhood experiences filled with love, are more able to express their feelings of love to others. However, those whose childhood experiences lack the emotion of love, have difficulty showing any emotion to another.... [tags: Les Miserables]
953 words (2.7 pages)
- Les Miserables - Reconciliation between a Man and Himself The ending of the Victor Hugo novel, Les Miserables, contains a reconciliation between a man and himself, and his family. This is, in many ways, the entire purpose of the book. Goodness or saintliness can be achieved, despite difficult or unwholesome beginnings. This theme is an enduring one, because of both its truth and its presentation. Fay Weldon may as well have been describing Les Miserables when she said "The writer, I do believe, who get the best and most lasting response from readers are the writers who offer happy endings through moral development ....... [tags: Les Miserables]
635 words (1.8 pages)
- During the Romantic Movement in the 1700’s various writers were inspired to write poems or novels that include romantic qualities. What is Romanticism. Well it can be defined as a movement emphasizing self-expression and reason over logic. During this period, emphasis shifted from tradition of the church who gave people their experience to the importance of the individual's experience. The aspect most stressed in France is echoed in Victor Hugo's expression "liberalism in literature," meaning the freeing the writer of restrains and rules marked by the inspiration of radical political ideas.... [tags: love, political ideas]
661 words (1.9 pages)
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo Les Misèrables was written by Victor Hugo, and published in 1862. It has been translated into many different languages, and turned into a play and movie as when as being a book. When a friend asked Hugo why he wrote the book he replied as follows, "I condemn slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred. That is what I am, and that is why I have written Les Misèrables." The book Les Misèrables tells of Hugo’s life, and of France in the early 1800’s while telling a tale of change, conflicts between classes, and justice.... [tags: Papers]
837 words (2.4 pages)
- Character Analysis- JaVert "Les Miserables" written by Victor Hugo is a novel set during the inception of the French Revolution. Through the characters in the book, the author has tried to depict the life of the French middle class people and their exploitation by the upper class. One of the most intriguing characters in the novel is the character of Javert, who is a police officer and therefore, belongs to the upper class. He has a cold temperament and has an outlook of not treating the criminals with mercy.... [tags: authority, conscience, suicide]
667 words (1.9 pages)
- ... The play presented most of my favorite parts as demonstrated by the novel. In fact, while I was watching, I couldn’t help feeling so engrossed; I felt like I was actually there when all the events were unfolding. Les Miserables is based on the idea that no one is perfect since Valjean is guilty of certain thefts for which he feels remorse. Valjean assumes the identity of Monsieur Madeliene in order to avoid arrest as well as the life sentence associated with his offenses. It’s fascinating to note that under his fake identity, Valjean becomes the mayor of a small town he adopted.... [tags: victor hugo, orchestra, singers]
538 words (1.5 pages)
- ... Of the young lady!" (347). She does this without even wanting something in return, which is quite opposite from how she was raised: "I don't want your money" (348). Eponine ultimately illustrates how she has changed at the barricade. Before her transformation she would not have sacrificed herself for anyone else, but since she has changed she makes the biggest sacrifice of all. She takes a bullet for Marius. Eponine's character helps to develop the overall theme of Les Miserables. Jean Valjean is the epitome of how one can change as he transformed from a hardened criminal to a honest and selfless man.... [tags: story and character analysis]
627 words (1.8 pages)
- Les Misérables is an epic tale of hope, empathy, sympathy, redemption and hate set in post-revolutionary France. Written by acclaimed author Victor Hugo, Les Misérables follows the transformation of its two main characters from criminal to honest man and from dedicated reactionary to compassionate fellow man. Written sometime between 1845 and 1862, Hugo provides a detailed look into nineteenth century France’s society and politics. BY combining his story of redemption with the wrongdoings of the French government, Hugo sharply criticized French political policies and hoped his work may encourage change for the future.... [tags: essays research papers]
1106 words (3.2 pages)
- The Timeless Power of Les Miserables The book Les Miserables, written by Victor Hugo in 1862, created a sensation throughout the world (Royston and Schlesinger 2). That impression continued through theatrical productions and most recently the musical, but the book contains greater detail and adds a deeper understanding of Hugo's epic story than the movie or musical portray. Regretfully, few people in World society take the time to relish this masterpiece. Living in a fast paced world, many people today consider reading a time-consuming, senseless activity, and those who still read most likely choose a shorter novel rather than the 1500 page story of Les Miserables.... [tags: Les Misérables Miserables Essays]
1081 words (3.1 pages)
- Les Miserables Throughout peoples lives they will be influenced due to other people and events. There are many ways people can be influenced. In the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, three different people influence Jean Valjean. The first influence on Jean was by the bishop. Another influence on Jean was Cosette. A third influence on Jean was Javert. Each of these are people who play a large role in Jean's life. The bishop was one of Jeans first and most important influences involving kindness and forgiveness.... [tags: Les Miserables]
828 words (2.4 pages)