Widely considered as one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century, Les MisÃ©rables (literally “The Miserable Ones”) by Victor Hugo reeks of passion, idealism and high drama.
Victor Hugo was a brilliant poet, playwright, novelist and an occasional polemical writer of a French descent. Aside from his stellar writing, he was also a visual artist, a statesman and an exponent of the Romantic Movement in France.
At the young age of twenty, he had already written two tragedies, a melodrama and a multitude of poems. The artist’s strong support on political and social issues clearly transpires through his works.
The novel tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who was imprisoned for the petty crime of stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving sister. Freed at last, Jean travels the path of evil to good with a lot of struggles along the way.
This historical fiction is a strong testament to the strength of the human spirit as well as a deep analysis on the nature of law and grace, social injustice in 19th century France and the social impact of the French Revolution.
A key player on this novel is Hugo’s concept of resurrection. Jean goes through a series of physical resurrection after learning an important lesson. This shows man’s flight from his old morality.
All in all, Les MisÃ©rables is without question one of the most compelling novels ever written. It that kind of book that soars to the upper echelons of emotional power, heart and social rebirth.
- Written by Mona
- Published on June 12, 2012