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Biography And Critical Analysis Of Victor Hugo And His Work "Les Miserables"

1646 words - 7 pages

Les Misérables, "The Miserables", a name that seems to perfectly fit every character and emotion in this great classic. Les Misérables is a novel composed in the 18th century that seems to touch the hearts of even today's society. Its author Victor Hugo, whom lived an extraordinary life, wrote several novels, poems, and dramas, as well as participated in politics even becoming a politician himself, ingeniously intertwines emotions to portray the life of an ex-prisoner and how society seems to segregate him from amongst themselves. The theme outcasts are wrongfully treated by society can be seen in the horrible and vicious treatment of the meager and homeless, the manner in which lower classes are wrongfully tried for criminal accusations, and through the prejudices of citizens against criminals and Hugo uses characters and the historical time reference to help expand his theme.Victor-Marie Hugo was born to Joseph-Léopold-Sigisbert Hugo and Sophie Trébuchet in Besançon, France late February of 1802. His father was an officer, later general, under the historic leader Napoleon and was described to be adventurous, deeply involved in politics, and a merciless yet professional soldier. After a separation with his wife, Victor was raised as an only child with his mother. For a couple of years, they moved from Paris to Italy where Sophie met her new lover, General Victor Lahorie. However, when General Hugo took charge of three Spanish provinces, Sophie rejoined her lover and Lahorie was executed, charged with conspiring against Napoleon. Nonetheless, the ever-going problems between Victor's parents never had a negative impact on his young genius mind.Victor-Marie Hugo was one of the foremen in the transition from French classicism to romanticism in literature. Hugo openly spoke his voice about the limits of classicism in the introduction of his first historical drama Cromwell, and he succeeded in writing outside of these limits after a couple failed attempts. Victor-Marie Hugo's works most often pertained either to the political sense or historical aspect of his present day French society. One of his most famous pieces, Les Misérables, pertained to a political view of how convicts and the lower class were treated at his time while staying historically accurate in his facts. Another, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, also expresses how the lower class is viewed through a love story while staying accurate of the Cathedral and the mini governments of the gypsies and vagabonds of that time. Most of his works also express his anti-Napoleonic view and he was exiled at one time because of this.The story starts with Jean Valjean being released from prison and through the kindness of Father Myriel, becomes a new man. Myriel sees the good and Valjean and helps him create a new identity in order to begin a new life. Valjean's kindness and generosity to others gradually builds a successful and prosperous life for him. One of his...

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