Les Miserables Essay

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Les Miserables Essay

Cesar Ponciano

Mr. Smith

English 2

31 December 2016

Les Miserables Essay

   Of the many themes found in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables the most important theme is the redemptive power of love and kindness. In the story Les Miserables many characters’ lives are transformed when they are treated with, love and kindness for the first time. Jean Valjean stands as the major character of Les Miserables and is the main figure for the theme about the redemptive power of love and forgiveness.

   Valjean started off in prison a simple man, but his time in jail has a serious effect on him, and he emerges from prison as a criminal who hates society for what it has done to him. By the time Valjean encounters Bishop Myriel, he is so adapted to being an unsocial person that he greets the kindly bishop with hatred. Myriel, however, turns out to be the first person in years to treat Valjean with love and respect. This meeting with Myriel forever changes Valjean’s character, as Myriel forgives Valjean for all his mistakes and makes Valjean promise to become an honest man. Once Valjean opens up his heart, he becomes the main figure to the redemptive power of love and forgiveness. His hard work and new vision transform the derelict town of Montreuil-sur-mer into a thriving manufacturing center, which in turn teaches Valjean the value of good will. Valjean also learns how to love another person and how to pass that love onto others, when he takes charge of taking care of Cosette. Hardened by prison and rescued by the kindness of Bishop Myriel, Valjean’s encounters molded his character throughout the story. This ability to change makes him the main figure of how the redemptive power of love and forgiveness can change lives.