Les Misérables



Although the beginning of Cosette’s life is rife with misery and mistreatment, she is rescued at a young age by Jean Valjean. From then on, she is treated as a child should be treated, with unconditional love and kindness. If the Bishop’s love and faith is responsible for Valjean’s redemption, it might be said that Valjean pays this forward in his treatment of Cosette. Because Cosette is taken from a cruel, degrading environment to a safe, loving environment, she grows up with dignity, grace, optimism, and a wonderful capacity for love. Cosette’s development suggests the significant role of environment in shaping character, and reaffirms the important concept that love begets love. At the end of the novel, Valjean reminds Cosette and Marius to focus on loving each other and on being happy. As Valjean dies happily in the presence of the young couple, we know that his legacy of goodness and compassion will live on in them.

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Essays About Les Misérables