A More Descriptive "Les Miserables"

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  • Topic: Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, Thénardiers
  • Pages : 2 (614 words )
  • Download(s) : 170
  • Published : December 25, 2012
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Les Miserables at its most basic is the story of Jean Valjean. He lived with his sister and her family in extreme poverty in France after the French Revolution. In one act of desperation he broke a window and stole a loaf of bread. His sentence was lengthened by multiple escape attempts until he was finally released 19 years later. His hardness and bitterness increased by the response he got when he was required to show his papers at each new town he visited, resulting in lower pay and refusal of the townspeople to rent him a room or serve him a meal because he was an ex-convict. An act of grace by a bishop resulted eventually in transforming him. When he traveled into a new town, his help in saving someone’s life and the confusion and excitement around the event resulted in the town officials’ forgetting to ask him for his papers. He was hired on in a factory and devised a way to improve the factory’s production, leading to his promotion, eventually to the head of the factory, and further still to his being elected the mayor. He was known as a quiet but kind and and benevolent man, using much of his wealth to aid those in need. Thus it would seem his life was set on a new course of usefulness and happiness, except…except… Except for Javert, a former prison guard who became the new police inspector in Valjean’s town, who thinks he recognizes the mayor as an ex-convict who has broken his parole. Intersecting Valjean’s story is that of Fantine, a young, naive girl who gave herself to a man who only wanted to use her as a diversion one summer, leaving her with child, Cosette. In that day a single woman with a child was a scandal, so Fantine found an innkeeper and his wife whom she paid to keep her child while she went to another town to look for work. She ended up in Valjean’s factory, where she was fired after it was discovered that she had a child. In the meantime, the innkeeper, Thenardier, made up stories about Cosette needing more clothes, needing medicine,...
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