Victor Hugo had a significant way of making every single character in this story unique. The rich, the poor, the lonely, the elderly, the beautiful, and the powerful, were all bound together by the main character, Jean Valjean.
Try to remember when you were just an innocent child getting in trouble
for something insignificant. Of course, every child would run away from his or
her punishment. The main character in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables lived his
whole life running away from his past.
The characters all fit the title Les Miserables, meaning “the miserable
ones.” For example, It started out with a woman named Fantine who lived to
support her daughter, Cosette. Fantine became a prostitute, sold her hair and
two front teeth to provide for her daughter. She did anything for Cosette even if it meant giving her to someone else to be taken care of. She left Cosette in the hands of the Thenardiers, who not only made her hate, but also feel hated. Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who had been on the run from the authority most of his life, took Cosette into his own hands by request of Fantine before she died. Before he had Cosette in his custody, he had already change his name to
Monsieur Madeleine. This character name change got me off track at a point in
the story. However, in the end it all came together to show how desperate he
tried to get away from his past. Hugo had a good way of showing the emotions
of the characters; not only by deep description , but by how they strive to live a normal life.
Hugo uses a great deal of description in his writing. For example, In Les Miserables, he describes “emeute” as
“A sort of waterspout in the social atmosphere which suddenly takes
form in certain conditions of temperature, and which, in its whirling, mount, runs, thunders, tear up,razes,crashes,demoslishes,uproots, dragging with it the grand natures and the paltry, the strong man and the feeble mind, the trunk of the tree and the blade of straw.”
This book was a slight challenge for me to read due to some of the foreign dialogue. The description was a major factor that helped me to understand what was going on , and painted a mental picture of the characters, scenery, and time period that this story took place in.
This book will satisfy the readers’ interests on many levels, whether
they’re looking for adventure, intrigue, romance or history.