Reaction Paper on Les Miserables

Topics: Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, Love Pages: 4 (1354 words) Published: March 11, 2013
Les Miserable is a story about Valjean, a man who was sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He was paroled and released from prison after 20 years, but society discriminates him from work, shelter, and food because he is an ex-convict. However, Myriel, a priest helped him live a new life and Valjean, under a new name, had become successful. Soon his archenemy Javert, found and discovered his secret identity. Meanwhile, Valjean meet Fontine who was forced to a life of prostitution because she was fired from Valjean’s company. She soon died and Valjean felt guilty and pledged to take care of Fontine’s daughter, Cosette.

The story revolved about how Javert chases Valjean, while Valjean protects Cosette. They soon end up in the middle of a revolution where Cosette fell in love with Marius, one of the rebels. Javert ends up being a prisoner of the rebels and Valjean releases him. When the revolution was over, Javert had finally caught Valjean but he cannot arrest him because he owes his life to the latter. Javert commits suicide afterwards. Cosette and Marius got married and when Valjean was about to die, he gave a letter to Cosette explaining the death of her mother and asking for forgiveness.

Introspection and Reflection – Secular Law vs. Moral Order
Les Miserable is not just another story filled with romance, action, and adventure. If you look deeper, the movie reflects the values and beliefs of the French society in the olden times and Victor Hugo, in writing the novel, tried to insert some of his political beliefs into the story. He had perfectly personified the conflict between secular law and moral law.

I believe that Police Inspector Javert is the personification of the secular law while Priest Myriel symbolizes moral order. Please take note that Priest Myriel does not in any way symbolize Catholism or Religion but the moral order of humanity in general. Valjean personifies every man who is in conflict between the...
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