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Les Miserables Is Indeed A Romantic Novel

863 words - 4 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. The novel “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo indeed demonstrates romantic qualities such as spiritual ...view middle of the document...

Valjean throws away his life for another and at this moment Valjean’s spirit grows even more. Another moment when he experiences spiritual growth is when he takes in Cosette as his daughter. For 25 years Valjean feels no emotional attachment to anyone in his life except upon caring for Cosette, “Something new was entering his soul” (Hugo 183). All of Valjean’s affection and feeling came from the attraction towards Cosette. Valjean's magnificent finding, “the one that transforms him is that the meaning of life lies in love” (Constantakis). He transforms from a disdainful ex-convict to a man capable of loving and Sacrifices his happiness for others. Another account of Valjean demonstrating spiritual growth is when he has the opportunity to execute Javert but instead he releases Javert, despite Javert’s declaration to never stop tracking him. In spite of all the events leading up to this moment, Valjean forgives him and says “you are free… [and] cuts the ropes which [Javert] had on his wrists” (Hugo 494). Throughout the novel Valjean “learns to put another person first when he raises Cosette as his own daughter, and learns to forgive when releasing Javert.
Emotion/sympathy is another element that is present throughout the novel. The first example of this begins at the very beginning; the Bishop offers Valjean a place to stay for the night but Valjean ends up running off with all the silver. The police catch him and bring him back to the kind Bishop and he tells them that...

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