Noblesse Key

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Les Miserables

Victor Hugo

Characters:

Jean Valjean-An ex-convict who lives his life in hatred and anger towards the society which has led him in different misfortunes. Cosette’s adopted father.

Cosette-An orphan, maltreated by her foster family, she was adopted by Valjean after her mother died.

Fantine-A working-class girl who left her hometown in search for a better life in Paris but for all she knew that it was the beginning of her nightmare.

Marius Pontmercy-A son of the colonel in Napoleon’s army, though financially stable, he is bound with sorrows due to a broken family.

Javert-A police inspector who is bound with the belief that France’s law and order is absolute.

Summary:

Les Miserables is story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict, who found light with the help of a bishop and is out to keep his promise to be good. The story entails the equality among all citizens.

Analysis:

At first, I was hesitant to read this novel since I am not the ‘dramatic’ kind of person. Second, from the title itself, it sounds really tragic. It has been my habit to research the “whatabouts” of a certain book that I am about to read. Well, I must say, Les Miserables is one hell of a famous novel. It has been in musicals and widescreens.

Let us start the ball bowling.

Les Miserables is undeniably a potent social manifestation of poverty, ignorance, and brutality. Also, this story is an adventure of a misfortunate man in his quest to be accepted in the society. The saga of Jean Valjean - a man who faced reality no matter how unpleasant it may be, trying so hard to alter things, fighting for what he believed was right, standing still though bleeding, with his head unbowed, preserving his dignity as the hero of the story, made Victor Hugo reached the peak of his powers in this far-reaching novel of 19th century France. Here are the combined dramatic skills of Hugo the playwright, the rich imagination of Hugo the poet, and the compassion of Hugo the man.

I can say that it has been a mirror to the real life. The character of the society was ingeniously exposed by this story. The story as a whole is the plight of Jean Valjean a.k.a. Monsieur Madeleine, the stigma of an ex-convict, the interminable search of police officer Javert and his craving to put the latter behind bars.

For me, the story was very well done. The start was sad as what dramatic stories I think would. I happened to watch a few episodes of Les Miserables in television when I was little; I did not have any hard time imagining the characters which I think helped me to understand the story easily.

The story has somehow warped me into the past; it felt that I was really there when the story was happening. Of course, it was long but I was not bored. Well, maybe because I was quite anticipating what would happen next.

I literally shed tears while I was reading; Fantine’s tragic story had really brought the emotion in me. Of course, I have a mother and I cannot bear to see my mother experience what she has gone through. All I can say that her innocence and naïve mind has brought her so much suffering which most girls nowadays are also committing.

Aside from shedding tears, what I like most is the love story of Cosette and Marius and how they able to find their way towards each others arms. I am a secret lover of romantic books, movies, television shows, and anything romantic. Both are victims of circumstances which has made the story really exciting, two young individuals fighting against all odds just to be together.

The story is told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator who frequently addresses us, the readers. The narrator not only knows what the characters are thinking at all times but also has a detailed grasp of contemporary politics and society.

To wrap everything, I could say that reading Les Miserables was fun and very inspiring. I must say that it has given me a clear image of the society that we are in today. As well as the thought that even the most notorious criminal can change for the better. Everyone deserves a second chance.

With all honesty, I could recommend Les Miserables to my friends, fellow students, and to whom who can read this reaction paper.

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