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French Revolution Left France Impoverished: As Seen In Victor Hugo´S Les Miserables

1030 words - 5 pages

The french revolution was to help the French people gain freedom and their rights, but it came with repercussions. In the astounding novel of Les Miserables written by Victor Hugo, Victor Hugo expressed his concern on the poor people of France when he wrote a story about the life of a philanthropist. The philanthropist's name was Jean Valjean and the audience can see Victor Hugo's emphasization on his care for the poor through Jean Valjean. Even though Jean himself was enduring France's economic decline, he still gave to the impoverished. When the French Revolution ended, it left the poor people of France, even more indigent than they were before.
Although the French Revolution did promote ...view middle of the document...

The worst part was that nature was, sometimes, not on their side. If a bad harvest ever occured, there would not be any vegetables that the people were so highly dependant on and the people would die of starvation or sicknesses, due to weak immune systems.
The flour, used to make bread, was so valuable at the time and since the people were not making any money, the bakers had to find a way to make the bread more affordable. In order to make the flour "go more further," the bakers would mix the flour with other items like "sawdust, dirt, hay, dung" (Lynn). The bakers would do this to preserve as much of their flour, to make more bread, because the government had what seemed like a monopoly over the flour. The limitation of flour also caused many conflicts within the country because the peasents would then keep a close eye on the grain prices and when they raised to an unreasonable price, "riots sometimes spilled out across an entire region, sparking uprisings in different towns and villages" (Lynn). Since women were deemed as lower and more fragile than men, women were the ones who led the riots. If the women were caught, there punishment would be less extreme than a man's.
Another reason why France was so poor was because of the country's social injustice. In Victor Hugo's life, he had a "concern for social injustice" and he spread the awareness by using his "literary powers" (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Another clear example of how people were treated, can be seen when Jean Valjean was lying in a bed dying.When the portress noticed that Jean Valjean could not leave his room, and the portress's husband tells her, "'If he is rich, let him have a doctor. If he is not rich, let him not have any. If he doesn't have a doctor, he will die" (Hugo 377). By the time the readers have reached this point of the book, they know that Jean Valjean was truly a good, generous, and...

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