Les Miserables Essay, Research Paper
In Victor Hugo s Les Miserables Jean Valjean goes through many difficult struggles and finds the much needed influence to help him. There are three characters who influence Jean: Bishop Bienvenu, Cosette, and
Bishop Bienvenu s influence on Jean is similar to that of a father s influence on his son. Bishop Bienvenu s influence is critical to the start of Jean s life after prison. The Bishop was the only person that would shelter Jean for that long first night. During the night Jean stole his silver wear. Instead of being angry, the Bishop confirms Jean s story and gives him the silver candlesticks too. Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. I have bought your soul, that it may not be lost. (26). The Bishop s Influence on Jean will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Cosette s influence on Jean Valjean is welcome and realized most by Jean. Cosette influenced Jean with her need for love and a father figure. When Jean first met Cosette, he realized her reaching out for someone to fill in these missing spots in her life. As Jean took care of Cosette he gave her a loving, elder, trustworthy, male role she has been waiting for for support and stability. The time they spent together warmed both of their hearts with the feeling they longed for. Jean Valjean felt his own happiness grow with the happiness which he caused Cosette (139). Cosette s influence on Jean made both his feelings and life better and more barable. Jean found the love he has been without for so long, it warmed his heart and the people around him. Cosette influenced Jean s feelings for love, life, and his sense of well being.
Marius s influence on Jean Valjean is rather a love-hate respect. Marius influenced Jean in a way that was not at first accepted by him. Marius was in love with Cosette and this made Jean angry. Cosette had warmed Jean s heart with her love and Marius was going to walk into their lives and take it for his own. Jean tried to tie up their relationship the best he could. Finally, he realized that this was best for Cosette and if she was happy he was too. She turned to him, her beautiful eyes full of agony. What can I do? (207). Her intent on helping Marius through the troubles of war influenced Jean to promote their love to higher levels. Marius s influence on Jean helped him realize that the love Cosette has received from him gave her the option to share that feeling with other people.
In conclusion, Jean was both influenced and guided through many tough times in his life. These three people were very important to the well being of his life.