LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo
4:48 PM | Author: NOVEL SURFER

i. INTRODUCTION:

AUTHOR: Victor-Marie Hugo
Novelist, poet, and dramatist, the most important of French Romantic writers. In his preface to his historical play CROMWELL (1827) Hugo wrote that romanticism is the liberalism of literature. Hugo developed his own version of the historical novel, combining concrete, historical details with vivid, melodramatic, even feverish imagination. Among his best-known works are The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misérables. Victor-Marie Hugo was born in Besançon as the son of Joseph-Léopold-Sigisbert Hugo and Sophie Trébuchet. Hugo's father was an officer in Napoleon's army, an enthusiastic republican and ruthless professional soldier, who loved dangers and adventures. After the marriage of his parents had collapsed, he was raised by his mother. In 1807 Sophie took her family for two years from Paris to Italy, where Léopold served as a governor of a province near Naples. When General Hugo took charge of three Spanish provinces, Sophie again joined her husband. Sophie's lover, General Victor Lahorie, her husband's former Commandin Officer, was shot in 1812 by a firing-squad for plotting against Napoleon. Victor Hugo took seventeen years to write Les Miserables, his vast fresco of individual and collective destinies, which was published in 1862 when he was sixty years old. The novel is the parallel story of the redemption of Jean Valjean and France-and to a larger extent, the story of humanity's political and social progress.


CHARACTERS:


Jean Valjean – as Father Madeleine, Monsieur Leblanc, Ultimus Fauchelevent he is the lead cast of the story, a guy of strength and is sent to jail for theft.
Javert - A policeman who bears an uncanny resemblance to a wolf. Javert obeys the letter of the law and gives no mercy to offenders. He serves as a nemesis.
Fantine – She returns to her home village to find work and on the way entrusts her child Cosette, to the Thenardiers. She was died from tuberculosis.
Cosette - Fantine’s daughter who suffers under Eponine’s parents. She grows up in the Thenardiers but after many years, Jean Valjean take away her to the Thernardiers.
Marius - leaves his grandfather and lived in poverty and fell in love with Cosette and was the loved friend of Eponine.
Eponine - eldest child of Monsieur and Madame Thénardier and had a crush on Marius.
Bishop Myriel - bishop of Digne province who prevents his arrest and redeems Valjean.
Baron Pontmercy - bears a large scar on his cheek from a wound.
Monsieur Thénadier – dishonest traitor and father of Eponine.
Gavroche: The oldest son of the Thénardiers and brother of Eponine.
Madame Thénardier – Terror of Cosette and mother of Eponine. She bears five children but only cares for her two daughters Eponine and Azelma
Father Mabeuf - brother of Baron Pontmercy.
Monsieur Gillenormand – grandfather of Marius.

ii. BODY:


At the beginning, Bishop of Digne changed from well-off to a loyal religious person. He was from a rich family who lived a commendable life loyal to joy. From the written work, Valjean who stole a loaf of bread was troubled by ex-worshippers.

In contrast to the movie and musical; it began with Valjean and prisoners in rigid work with Javert as the inspector. Valjean had much strength in him which was his trademark.

While in the written work, it began with change from Charles Francois-Bievenu Myriel and the rigid work was not specified.

It was thought of in the novel that it is clear that Valjean could steal anything, even from the Bishop. Valjean represents the corruption and injustices of the French government by the punishment he got for stealing just a loaf of bread.

· The theft of Valjean was not revealed in the movie and musical but in the written work, it is mentioned. Valjean went out as mad that he was cheated instead of going out of prison peacefully.

· Valjean was discarded and no one seems to give him a chance and this act was not shown in the movie and in the musical. It is clear that he stole the silver from the bishop. In the movie and novel it was revealed how he has stolen goods from the Bishop yet in the musical, it was not shown.

The Thenardiers cheated Fantine even if they were in the same status by getting the money without letting Cosette live a happy life. They were thieves in the life of Fantine.

· In the written work, it was not affirmed that Fantine became a prostitute. But in the Musical and Movie, it was clearly shown as a bad part of her life.
· And the carrying of the cart happened first before her prostitution.
· The locket was not sold by Fantine but it was given to Cosette while in the musicale, it was sold by Fantine for 10 franks with her hair.
· In musicale, the death of Fantine, Javert is absent but in the movie Javert fought with Jean Valjean and was one of the reasons for Fantines death.
· There is no feeding in the musicale.
Javert was mandated by system and offers to leave his work he believes that he has aborted the scheme. There is no longer any doubt about Madeleine’s true identity. The chapter is devoted to Valjean’s inner struggle as to whether he should reveal himself and forsake the town for the sake of everyone.
I had noticed that in chapter “Marius” It was detailed, it has so many happenings on Marius life before he meets Cosette. In the novel there is a highlight in the life of Marius. In the movie, Marius appears when Cosette had grown up and became a lady.
The chapter “Marius” the pages are thick; there is a discussion about Marius. Marius’ discussions with the student group make him aware of the divisions that exist in Paris.
It is rewarding to see the reunion between Marius and his grandfather. Even though the old man has not changed his political views, his love for his grandson allows him to overcome that obstacle and help Marius in all of his endeavors. Even Valjean hides his sorrow of having lost Coseete’s love to Marius and feigns happiness over the couple’s forthcoming marriage and gives them a very sizeable present.
· In the movie Eponine did not join Marius while in musical, Eponine joined him;
· and another is that no letter was given at the movie after Marius assembles Cosette but in the musicale it was given after. (not in the book)
Javert has come to a turning point in his life. He has always gone after the law and knew accurately what to do and what was considered to be right and wrong. By allowing Valjean to walk away as a free man, he has done something contrary to the law and is no longer able to function and live. The only left for him to do is to commit suicide.

· The death of Valjean was not shown in the movie and musicale while in the novel he was departed.
It is satisfying to realize that all the misunderstandings between Jean Valjean and Cosette and Marius are resolved and that his behavior is finally understood by the ones whose love he so desperately needs. He is now finally able to forgive himself and dies in peace.




iii. CONCLUSION:

I conclude that there is nothing wrong if there are a number of changes in the movie, musicale and in novel because I’m aware of it and it happens all the point in time, there are some exaggerations that will come up, I experience it more frequently in the others too, but I could not deny the fact that I was a little disappointed variously of it.

Like for example, in the book and musicale; Eponine was present on it while in the movie she didn’t appear; it would be acceptable if she is not really one of he main cast but sadly as I though read the Les Mesirables and watch the musicale she is important cast and that made one of the reasons why I was disappointed in it.

Another is in the last part, It is sometimes vague because in the musicale and movie, Jean Valjean was not dead and besides he was just set free with Javert, yet in he novel he is dead, it felt sad as a reader because it is unclear if were would we pursue.

There are so many changes that had happened like theirs no feeding in the musicale, Eponine’s expression of love for Marius, in the movie Eponine did not join Marius while in musical, Eponine joined him, and another is that no letter was given at the movie after Marius assemble Cosette but in the musicale, it was given after. (not in the book)
It is quite depressing to observe that the befallen Valjean and the deterioration of his body and soul. One wonders how the two people who owe their lives to this man, allow this to occur and don’t show compassion.
In musicale, the death of Fantine, Javert is absent but in the movie Javert fought with Jean Valjean and was one of the reasons for Fantines death.

It is quite surprising to see this change in Javert’s behavior toward Valjean. The biggest surprise when Valjean is free because Javert realizes and then gone into suicide.

I enjoyed reading, comparing and analyzing each of it.



Difficult Words:
· Humbug = something devoid of sense or meaning; nonsense: a humbug of technical jargon.
· Vagabond = leading an unsettled or carefree life. wandering from place to place without any settled home; nomadic: a vagabond tribe.
· Chafing = to become worn or sore from rubbing: His neck began to chafe from the starched collar.
· Cabriolet = a light, two-wheeled, one-horse carriage with a folding top, capable of seating two persons. an automobile resembling a coupe but with a folding top.
· Façade = a superficial appearance or illusion of something: They managed somehow to maintain a facade of wealth.
· Chimera = (often initial capital letter ) a mythological, fire-breathing monster, commonly represented with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.
· Feeblenesses = impartment
· Pinnace = a light sailing ship, esp. one formerly used in attendance on a larger ship.
· Fiacre = a small horse-drawn carriage.
· Opaqueness = not transparent or translucent; impenetrable to light; not allowing light to pass through, not transmitting radiation, sound, heat, etc.
· Indemnity = protection or security against damage or loss.

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