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Author: Victor Hugo

Year Published: 1862

Type: Novel

Genre: Drama

Perspective and Narrator:

Les Misérables uses a third-person, omniscient narrator. The narrator often refers to himself as the author and recounts true events from the author's life; in these passages, the author and narrator merge into one voice.


Les Misérables is written in the past tense. The action sometimes moves back and forth in time to accommodate the plot threads connected to multiple characters.

About the Title:

Les Misérables is a French term, meaning "the wretched," "the miserable ones," "the dispossessed," or "the underclass"; in his sprawling work, Hugo sets out to call attention to the struggles of these members of society and to pay tribute to their resilience and dignity.


This study guide and infographic for Victor Hugo's Les Misérables offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents, Q&A pairs, and flashcards created by students and educators.

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