The Fascinating Plot Behind Les Miserables
Written in 1862 by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables is an intriguing story surrounding 17 years in the life of Frenchman Jean Valjean. Imprisoned for theft of bread for his sister and her starving family, Valjean embarks on nearly two decades of hard life lessons that leads him to turn from a bitter man to one who is intensely caring and loving.
Thanks to the kind acts of character Bishop Myriel, Valjean begins to turn his bitterness into positive energy. He goes from groveling in the streets to being a well-known and respected businessman. However, he lives his new life under an alias name to prevent his capture by French police for petty theft acts he committed while fresh out of prison and living on the streets.
Because of his newly assumed identity, the tale takes on an interesting and intensely intriguing plot. Valjean ends up caring for a woman named Fantine and her daughter Cosette. This is the part of the story that makes the character and heart of Valjean stand out. Fantine was fired from Valjeans company due to the fact she had Cosette out of wedlock. Because of his guilt over this, he takes her in, caring for her until her death a short while later.
Valjean undergoes more strife when he admits his true identity. He is sentenced to death for previous crimes committed and ends up diving into the ocean as a fake of his death. Later in the story, he returns to find Cosette being treated cruelly by the family she is living with. He takes over her upbringing and so the story continues on.
Set in Paris, France, much of the ending of this fantastic story is surrounded by the activities of the French June rebellion. Because of this rebellion, many more unusual trials take place for Valjean and Cosette. The setting and the plot fall hand-in-hand, giving playgoers and readers of this popular novel a sense of heartbreak and fury as Valjean conquers his demons.
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