Les Miserables: Jean Valjean Essay, Research Paper
Les Miserables: Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean was an alluring hero of Les Miserables for many reasons,
one of which was his drastic conversion from a miserable criminal into a heroic,
peaceful man. Jean Valjean seems like a three dimensional character at first.
But deep inside his emotions he shows a defined viewpoint on life making him a
flat character. One of the most compassionate things he did was guarding
Cossette and treating her as if she were his own daughter. He is the main
character, therefore there would essentially be no plot without him. His several
journeys span across a length of twenty years. He is an extremely strong man.
Sometimes his strength was a burden put upon him. His charisma and superhuman
qualities make his character a figment of romanticism.
Valjean was born a decent human being. Unfortunately he was born into
poverty, which forced him to steal in order to survive. After getting caught
stealing a loaf of bread he was imprisoned. A few years later he is caught
after escaping, he is then sent to the galleys for 19 years. He later escapes
from there to goto a town where he was not wanted. Still a criminal he steals
some silverware from a kind priest who gave him shelter. When caught, the police
ask the priest if Jean stole the silverware. To everyone’s surprise the priest
said it was a gift this started his conversion toward a good life. After this he
tried to live a peaceful life. He started a new factory in a new town employing
several. Then a man in a city nearby was arrested under the name Jean Valjean.
Jean was faced with a tough choice. Rather than letting the other man take the
wrap for him, he chose to admit his identity to save the innocent man. Later, he
rescued Cossette from her harsh life with the Thenardiers. He acted as her
father while she grew up. Throughout these years. Jean was faced with obstacles
that made him choose between right and wrong. He always chose the right path.
From this Jean expressed that he only saw right and wrong, black and white,
which made him two dimensional.
His life was lead one way, his personality proved to respond one way,
and his relevance to the story was set out in one way. This way was the way that
things were done justly in his mind. His relevence to the entire structure of
the story set aside from being the main character was crucial. He was portrayed
as both the hero and the miserable.