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Les Miserables Reconciliation Between A Man And Himself

650 words - 3 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 .... some kind of spiritual reassessment or moral
 reconciliation, even with the self, even at death."
 The hero Jean Valjean undergoes quite the transformation throughout the
 course of his story.  He begins as a criminal and convict with absolutely
no scruples.  A kindly prelate forgives him after a theft, and simply turns
the other cheek.  This act of unexpected generosity inspires Valjean to turn his
life around, and for the most part, he succeeds in doing so.  He becomes a wealthy
 respected philanthropist, but doing so puts him in a conspicuous position.  The
 merciless police officer Javert hounds him until his existence is discovered and he
in again incarcerated.  By this time, Valjean has involved himself with a young
girl and become her father figure of sorts.  He makes a daring escape from jail,
and is able to hide from the law with his "daughter", Cossette.  Valjean settles down
 for a good while, until Cossette grows up.  By that time, a terrible plot is
 brewing against Valjean due to his past, and a revolution is underway.  Of course,
 the hero is undamaged throughout his experiences, and emerges on top.  His problems
 revolve around Cossette: she, as ignorant of Valjean's past as she is of
 hers, falls in love...

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