Les Misérables | Study Guide

Victor Hugo

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Les Misérables | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

les-miserables-victor-hugoJean Valjean steals a loaf of bread to feed his sisters children but is caught and spends 19 years in jail.A newly free man, Jean Valjean steals from a bishop—but when caught, is shown forgiveness that transforms his life.Jean Valjean starts anew as Monsieur Madeleine, a successful businessman, but is discovered by Inspector Javert.Years later, Cosette falls in love with the student Marius. When revolution erupts, Jean Valjean rescues Marius from the barricade.Cosette and Marius are married, and characters’ pasts are revealed as Jean Valjean nears death.After rescuing the orphan Cosette, Jean Valjean flees to Parisstill pursued by Inspector Javert.123456Les Misérablesby the NumbersYear of the June Rebellion in Paris1832Times Jean Valjean tries to escape from prison 4Year the English-language musical adaptation of the novel premiered in London1985Years Hugospent writing Les Misérables17Main CharactersJean ValjeanBitter ex-convict turned kind, idealistic businessmanCosetteAbused foster child saved byJean Valjean; loves MariusMariusIdealistic rebel; falls in love with CosetteMonseigneur BienvenuKindly bishop; protectsJean Valjean from policeFantineDesperate mother; turns toprostitution to support her childJavertPitiless police inspector obsessed with bringing Jean Valjean to justiceThe ThénardiersScheming, greedy, cruel couple; guardians of Cosette for several yearsLaw vs. JusticeIn an unjust society, the law excessively punishes the poor while the government lets them starve and rot. FaithTo survive the trials of life, people need faith—a belief in something or someone that gives meaning to their striving. ThemesLoveCompassionate and unselfish love has the power to redeem even a hardened criminal.VICTOR HUGO1802–85AuthorHugo was a writer in the French romantic tradition and a politician and social reformer who used his art to raise peoples consciousness about the plight of the disenfranchised. His magnum opus, Les Misérables, is considered one of the great novels of the 19th century.Jean Valjean begins as a victim of an unjust society, evolves into an angry outlaw, and is transformed into a Christlike figure of compassion through the love of a kindly bishop and an orphan child. He saves Cosette from a life of abuse and forgives his hated nemesis Javert, a rule-bound policeman with no understanding of justice.Recalled to Life, Recalled by LoveOVERVIEWSources: Barricades: The War of the Streets in Revolutionary Paris, 18301848 by Jill Harsin, Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Guardian, LesMis.com, New World Encyclopedia, Playbill.comCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes in nothing.Narrator, Cosette: Book 7, Chapter 9Victor Hugo1862FrenchNovelAuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageLes MisérablesHistorical

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