How does Hugo express human misery in Les Misérables?
He is is imprisoned simply for stealing bread to survive, then upon release cannot find work because of the paper that indicates his status as a former criminal. We see even more grief as Fantine and her friends are all abandoned by their lovers.
Why is Les Misérables so important?
Hugo used Les Misérables to criticize the injustices of 19th century France. However, issues dealt with in the novel are universal and still resonate — the rights of women, intergenerational conflict, cruelty of the justice system, and the failure of society’s institutions.
Why is there an elephant in Les Misérables?
The Bastille Elephant
It was commissioned by the Emperor Napoleon to commemorate the site of the now demolished Bastille (and his own military victories) who originally planned it to be built of bronze, melted down from captured enemy cannons.
What does the name Eponine mean?
The name Eponine is primarily a female name of English origin that means French Horse Goddess. Name created by Victor Hugo in his novel “Les Miserables.”
Who is Jean Valjean based on?
Valjean’s character is loosely based on the life of Eugène François Vidocq, an ex-convict who became a successful businessman widely noted for his social engagement and philanthropy. Vidocq helped Hugo with his research for Claude Gueux and Le Dernier jour d’un condamné (The Last Day of a Condemned Man).
Why is Les Miserables pronounced differently?
In “Les Miserables,” the final “bluh” syllable sounds like something should come after it to an English ear because in English words almost never end with “bluh.” This can lead English speakers to emphasize the “bluh” a little too much when it should remain light and airy.
What is the author’s purpose in writing the story Les Misérables?
Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables with a goal to address the causes and outcomes of social injustice in nineteenth century France. He states, “ while ignorance and poverty persist on earth, books such as this cannot fail to be of value” (15).
Why did Jean Valjean steal bread?
Jean Valjean, after spending nineteen years in jail and in the galleys for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving family (and for several attempts to escape) is finally released, but his past keeps haunting him. At Digne, he is repeatedly refused shelter for the night.
What does Fantine symbolize?
Fantine represents Hugo’s deep compassion for human suffering, especially for women born into low estate”.
Is Les Mis hard to read?
It’s a brutal story to read, and it sticks with you. After you read Les Mis, you feel like you know Fantine, and her song from the show, I Dreamed A Dream, becomes many orders of magnitude more potent. And it’s not just Fantine. Every character you love from the show gets a lengthy, detailed treatment in the book.
What does the elephant symbolize in France?
Simon Schama, in the first chapter of Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989), tells the story of the Elephant of the Bastille, which he uses as a symbol of the failed hopes of the French Revolution.
Is the elephant still in Paris?
It was built at the site of the Bastille and, although part of the original construction remains, the elephant itself was replaced a few years later by the July Column constructed on the same spot.
Does the Moulin Rouge still have an elephant?
Unfortunately, Moulin Rouge’s elephant wouldn’t last very long either, and it was torn down prior to the 1906 renovation of the cabaret hall and did not reappear upon its reopening.
What does Cosette mean in French?
Meaning. Cosette in modern name dictionaries give the meaning as “victorious,” but it doesn’t appear to have been in use as a first name until after Hugo published Les Miserables, although “Cozette” sometimes appeared as a surname. Victor Hugo said he created Cosette from “chosette”, meaning “little thing” in French.
Who is the father of Fantine’s baby?
Félix Tholomyès is the former lover of Fantine and the biological father of Cosette, though this was never mentioned in the musical.
How did the Thenardiers treat Cosette?
The Thénardiers treat Cosette very badly, dressing her in rags, selling her clothes for 60 francs in the streets of Paris, forcing her to work, and beating her often. Fantine is eventually reduced to working as a prostitute in order to earn enough money to meet the Thenardiers’ demands, as M.
What does Jean Valjean symbolize?
Hardened by prison and rescued by the kindness of M. Myriel, Valjean is a blank slate, molded by his encounters and circumstances. This ability to change makes him a universal symbol of hope—if he can learn love and charity after suffering so much injustice, anyone can.
Why is Jean Valjean so strong?
Jean Valjean (although not a virgin) experiences a religious epiphany in the hands of Bishop Myriel and is blessed with great strength. Then, he uses his strength wisely to save people like Fauchelevant, instead of abusing it. Of course, my theory doesn’t work if Jean Valjean was always strong.
Why is Les Misérables classified as a romantic novel?
The novel “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo indeed demonstrates romantic qualities such as spiritual growth, emotion/sympathy and Nature. Jean Valjean is an exceptional character who demonstrates spiritual growth because he feels lost and nothing can change his life he has.
What was Jean Valjean’s original sentence?
Jean Valjean was condemned to five years in the galleys. So by committing his crime in the first place and doing so by night (or rather in the evening, but it being considered night by the judge), Jean Valjean had already made sure he would be sentenced to hard labour.
What is the relationship of Jean Valjean to Cosette?
Cosette: Fantine’s daughter who lives as a servant to the Thénardiers, Cosette is rescued by Valjean at age eight and is raised by him in Paris, knowing nothing about her past. At seventeen, she meets and falls in love with Marius, and eventually marries him.
Why does Valjean leave Cosette?
Valjean realizes that Cosette has fallen in love with a neighborhood boy, and he decides to take her to live in England in order to avoid attracting attention.
What does Cosette symbolize?
However, in a novel of symbolism and metaphor, Cosette may also be seen as a symbol of hope in the world of Les Misérables, representing the rise of the oppressed and abused from darkness to a bright future.
What do the silver candlesticks symbolize in Les Misérables?
Myriel’s Silver Candlesticks
M. Myriel’s candlesticks are the most prominent symbol of compassion in Les Misérables, and they shed a light that always brings love and hope.
Who dies at the end of Les Misérables?
“Valjean’s Death” is the penultimate (or last, depending on the song organization) musical number in Les Misérables. This and the “Finale,” which flows into it without pause, sometimes count as one song. The combination is often known as “The Epilogue” (as the musical also has a Prologue).