The Effect Of Family Allegiance In Les Mis By Victor Hugo

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Family is Everything (An Analysis of the Effect of Family Allegiance in Les Mis by Hugo) Victor Hugo’s narrative rendition of the French Revolution has been one of the most noted and idolized throughout the ages. His heart wrenching story describes the path that many different average citizens take throughout the revolution. Jean Valjean, a man who has been in prison for years for stealing a loaf of bread is haunted and terrorized by Javier, a leader of the French army who is in control of finding Valjean after he skips out on his parole. Valjean makes an honest life and becomes mayor and a major role model for many people throughout Paris and France in general. Fauntine is a woman who is too poor to care for her infant child, she gives her…show more content…
Valjeans story starts with his allegiance to his family. He is arrested as a young man when he steals a loaf of bread to feed his sisters starving family. He spend a miserable life in prison to make up for this, yet he never regrets it. When he escapes, the priest explains to him that he has to change his life around and become an honest man to really feel love again. After Valjean cleans up, he is able to fully care for Cosette when she comes into his care. Valjean promised Fauntine that he would find her child, but after she died, he really could have done anything that he wanted to. He did not have to track down the young girl, he did not have to pay to adopt her, and he certainly did not have to treat her to the life of luxury that he did. Valjean is one of the most humble, valiant characters of this story. He learns to love Cosette and changes his whole life for her. He even explains to her that, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” (Pg. 1367) Valjean sacrifices everything to ensure that Cosette is happy and he even leaves her in the end of the story because he fears that he could be a danger to her. As Anne-Sophie Cerisola explains, “Jean Valjean himself resigns this title (father) when he feels he can no longer serve the interests of Cosette and Marius.” (Cerisola) Though Valjean would probably like nothing more than to stay with Cosette and Marius forever, he knows that is not possible.…show more content…
Cosette is affected by everyone in her life’s choices, even if they don’t allow her to live the life she dreamed of as a little girl; she always manages to see the best in a situation and to find love where ever she is. Marius abandons a life of ease and comfort to help the common folk because he knows that they are being treated poorly and every death in the revolution affects him personally on many levels. Valjean dedicates his life to ensuring that others are happy, especially his family. The entire novel is about family, though not always blood family. Our family is who we choose it to be, even if we consider our friends our closest family. I think that one of the most important characters in the novel is the priest because he sets the idea of selflessness in motion. Walter Metz explains that “the priest demonstrates the necessity of acts that put one's concern for others over and above one's concern for self.” (Metz) By following the example of the priest, Jean Valjean is able to set a great example for his darling Cosette and her other half, Marius. They are then able live on in the shadow of this example, passing it along to others as

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