Les Miserables Essay

Topics: Les Misérables, Jean Valjean, Thénardiers Pages: 3 (1093 words) Published: March 27, 2013
In Victor Hugo’s novel Les Miserable’s, one character plays a part in each of the other character’s lives. Cosette, a little girl, is created to develop the rest of the “miserables” throughout the book. Fantine, Cosette’s mother, digs herself into the shameless lifestyle of prostitution and poverty, while trying to support Cosette. The Thenardiers become her home while her mother leaves in search for work. There, Cosette is used to clean and work. Through Cosette, the Thenardier’s are shown as they beat and punish Cosette, their “slave”. Jean Valjean uses Cosette in a different way. He takes her in as his “daughter” and finds companionship through her. Cosette is loved and cared for. As Cosette’s character develops she is passed along from a pitiful mother who cannot support her; to the Thenardier’s who beat and starve her; then, to Jean Valjean who takes Cosette in where she becomes his everything. Fantine, desperately in love with a man, Felix Tholomyes, whose feelings vary from hers, and yet she bears his child despite his fickle appearance. The illegitimate child, Cosette, is the outcome of her dying love toward him. Cosette is used to show Fantine as a “miserable.” Fantine leaves Cosette with the Thenardier’s and goes in search for a job to support Cosette. As Cosette’s character grows, she reveals how pitiful Fantine becomes. Fantine’s devotion for Cosette, a little girl who is too young to give anything back in return, exposes us to one of the themes being forced to consider throughout the book, unrequited love. “My child in not cold anymore, I dressed her in my hair.” Fantine does everything she can to work for money to support Cosette. She sacrifices her hair so that Cosette will have clothes. Without Cosette Fantine could live her life for herself. She puts all her effort into a child that she does not see and which the child does not know who she is. The child, Cosette, is a symbol of all the love and everything Fantine put into a man who gave her...
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