thesis on how jean val jean's life is a continuous process of purification?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    "The step-by-step purification of a man's soul and his achievement of spiritual perfection."

    Jean Valjean is the hero of the novel. The best years of his life have been wasted because of the iniquities and injustice of the prevailing social order. Emerging from prison after 19 years, his soul is immersed in anger, bitterness, hatred and a feeling of vengeance against society. How he acieves spiritual perfection, as viewed by Hugo, is what the story is all about.

    However, this point has not been recognised by many. While most say that the theme is : "The injustice of society towards the lower classes", Hugo's intention was to dramatise "Man's struggle against the laws of society".

    Keeping this in view, the accepted plot theme is (as best defined by Ayn Rand) : "The lifelong flight of an ex-convict from a ruthless representative of the law", this representative being Javert.

    However, the struggle of Jean Valjean continues long after his conflict with Javert is resolved.

    Victor Hugo is not just showing that Conscience is above Law, but this: what is the highest level of selflessness and self-sacrifice a man is capable of and what makes it possible.

    As far as I can see, the accepted plot-theme has been identified the way it has been, because it defines a specific purpose(i.e., Javert's pursuit of Jean Valjean). Perhaps critcs would dismiss my point of view because neither is it Jean Valjean's explicit goal to become perfect nor does he set himself an objective which would symbolize his attainment of perfection.

    But I look at the plot to have been construsted in a manner which inevitably leads Jean Valjean to perfection.

    Bishop Myriel is the guiding image for Jean Valjean:his role represents how love and compassion can resurrect a man's conscience.

    Fantine is the symbol of the woman and Cossette is the symbol of the child who are the victims of social evils.

    Javert-the implaccable, ruthless and awe-inspiring policeman who shall never compromise on his values - is the symbol of blind conformity to the existing legal and social order.

    One of the greatest achievements of "Les Miserables" is its sweeping sense of drama. What I love most about Hugo is the superb dramatic situations - suspenseful, thrilling, emotionally intense - he creates.

    The scenes are so breathtakingly grandiose and mind-blowing that one can only think : "How did he get such a brilliant idea??!!"

    The best part of the novel is the fighting at the barricades during the July Revolution in Paris - led by, perhaps the most admirable hero in 19th Century Romantic fiction - Enjolras.

    Enjolras - despite a minor role - made a greater impact on me than the two central characters - Jean Valjean and Marius. One also cannot forget the lovable, heroic, 12 year old Gavroche.

    The greatest drawback of "Les Miserables" is the plethore of esssays on various social, historical, religious and other issues, which are exasperatingly long, which interrupt the plot, make the novel cumbersome and the reader impatient.

    However, they give the reader a picture of the world which Hugo had in mind (and which he wanted to revolutionize-and how) while writing the book.

    They may not be directly related to the plot, but are certainly related to the meaning of the novel.

    Further, the plot tends to become loose at times. The coincidences are rather naive and force the reader to conclude that they are meant solely to bring coherence in the story or to present a particular aspect of Hugo's philosophy.

    Some may find the descriptions unnecessarily meticulous, though in poetic terms they are stunningly beautiful.

    However, all this seems irrelevant if we concentrate on the profound pschycological analysis of the value-conflicts of Jean Valjean (and Javert) rarely matched in world literature; the scope and intellectual value of the novel; its immense social and philosophical significance and its wonderful portrayal of man as a heroic being.

    But above all is the unsurpassable dramatic treatment rendered by Hugo's genius : the sheer artistry, the incomparable ingenuity, the soulful emotional content, the startling originality and compelling suspense-there is NO OTHER SINGLE WRITER IN THE WORLD who has equalled Hugo in this aspect-make, in addition to its numerous merits, "Les Miserables" one of the greatest achievements of the human mind.

  • 3 years ago

    Jean Val jean first began his highway to purification after Bishop Myriel pardons him for stealing his silver. The Bishop advised him in replace he could would desire to start being an trustworthy guy, and so began the non-quit technique. Val jean develop into style of revived after receiving such no longer worth kindness, surprisingly after the scientific care he won from the final public and the area that brought about it, and he attempted to maintain his be conscious to its fullest ability. His existence began being certainly one of all sturdy deeds to make up for all the undesirable ones contained in the previous. desire that facilitates (=.

  • 1 decade ago

    Or you could just do your own damn homework and learn something.

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