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bitterly, he intends to try to protect Marius for Cosette. When the barricades are finallyovertaken, Valjean rescues Marius and escapes through the city sewers. Marius is unconsciousand does not know who rescued him. When his health returns, he insists once again on marryingCosette, and this time the grandfather relents. Old wounds are at least partially healed. As Javertis also dead, it would seem that Cosette, Valjean, Marius and his grandfather could all form onehappy family. Cosette and Marius marry, but Valjean reveals the truth of himself to Marius whogradually banishes him from even seeing Cosette.The Thenardiers are a continuous nuisance andoccasionally a real threat throughout the book, but in spite of Thenardier’s intention to bringharm to Valjean, he actually reveals the truth of Valjean’s history to Marius.Valjean dies in the end, but it is with contentment after a joyful reunion with Cosette. Heis content to know that Cosette and Marius have “forgiven” him, although it seems as thoughValjean himself is the one who has the right to be on the forgiving end of things. LITERARY ANALYSIS‘To love or to have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be foundin the dark folds of life.’ We all know the story. Jean Valjean is sent to prison because he steals a lump of bread toensure his and his family’s survival. But this is no ordinary prison. This is the gallows wheremen are worked and worked and where the smallest offense just gets them locked up some more.And Valjean is locked up for nineteen years because he tries to escape this hell hole.When he’s finally released, he is an angry bitter man, not the least because no inn will let himstay the night because of his yellow convict passport: ‘A convict may leave the galleys behind,but not his condemnation.’But Valjean is lucky. He meets Bishop Myriel who kindly gives him shelter for thenight. And just as kindly – or not – Valjean repays the favor by making off with Myriel’ssilverware, the only luxury the old Bishop allows himself. Of course he’s caught – but when he isbrought in front of the Bishop against, the Bishop claims that he gave the silverware to Valjeanand forgot to give him the silver candlesticks. Valjean is then sent on his way with this extra lootand an awakened conscience. Unlucky for him – but lucky for the reader since it gets to be ofvital significance later on – Valjean hasn’t quite quit his criminal ways yet and so he steals a coinfrom a 12-year-old boy.After a couple of year has passed, we are back with Valjean who is now living under analias as a wealthy factory owner who does good wherever he goes. One of these good deeds ishelping a young woman, Fantine, who after having been a young and beautiful woman living thegood life in Paris, has a child. She tries what she can to protect the little girl names Cosette by
leaving her with a couple owing an inn whom she thinks she can trust. Fantine never runs out ofbad luck and she sells whatever she has – her hair, her teeth – to pay for her daughter’s upkeep.