Les Miserables Essay, Research Paper
The plot in Les Miserables us about a man convicted of a petty crime and sent to jail. He
ended up in prison for 21 years, yet after getting out became a very compassionate and
generous man. He was also an excellent father figure to a young girl. Although he was a
very good man he went through many trials and hardships.
At the beginning of Les Miserables, Jean Valjean could not afford to support his
sister?s family, so in his desperation he stole a loaf of bread. For this small crime he was
sent to prison for five years, but, because of attempted escapes, he was forced to stay for
14 more years.
When Jean Valjean was released from prison he stole from a young chimney
sweep. That second crime caused Valjean to be wanted by the law. Yet somehow
Valjean managed to get a job in a factory of a small town. While working there Valjean
devised a way to make the products better, while at the same time making them for alot
cheaper. Valjean became very rich and was very generous with his money. Valjean
became mayor and built schools, gave money to the poor, and helped nearly everyone in
the town out of his own pocket.
One day Valjean visited the police office and met a poor woman named Fantine
who was falsely accused of a petty crime. She was trying to work to support her child.
Valjean took Fantine under his wing, and helped her. But, in the meantime, Jean Valjean
turned himself in to the authorities to save a man who was accused of being Jean
Valjean, and stealing from the chimney sweep. Fantine dies before valjean was captured
and taken back to jail. Not long after being sent to prison Valjean managed to escape.
Valjean then showed his character and compassion by going straight to Fantine?s
daughter, Cossette, and taking her away from the terrible people that were keeping her.
Valjean and Cossette loved each other very much, and had plenty of money from
Valjean?s fortune. Javert, the police chief, still tried to find Valjean. Valjean and
Cossette lived together happily although sometimes they would have to move at the spur
of the moment because Javert still chased Valjean relentlessly.
After several years of this same loving relationship, Cossette started to fall in love
with a young man named Marius. Marius and Cossette?s love grew very strong without
Valjean?s knowledge. Only a few months after they find each other and fell in love,
Valjean thought Javert had found him and decided to move to England. Marius? heart
was crushed because he could not afford to move to England with Cossette, and he didn?t
think he could live without her. Marius wrote Cossette a letter and told her that he was
going to die while fighting at a barricade against the French government. Valjean
received the letter instead of Cossette, and decided to save Marius for Cossette?s
happiness although he knew his relationship with Cossette will never again be the same.
When Valjean got to the barricade, he found that Javert had been captured and was to be
assassinated. Once again Valjean showed his strong kindness and compassion and saved
Javert. At the end of the battle at the barricade, Marius had been seriously wounded and
Valjean carried him through the sewers to safety. After Valjean saved Marius, Javert
captures Valjean. But Javert did something unusual, he returned the favor that Valjean
had given him, and let Valjean go. Later that night, Javert could not live with his
decision and committed suicide.
After Marius recovered from his wounds, he and Cossette got married, and
received Valjean?s fortune. At this time Valjean?s conscience is bothering him so he told
Marius that he was a convict. This resulted in Valjean almost never seeing Cossette.
Valjean grew very sad and his health started to decline. While Valjean was on his
deathbed Marius found out that Valjean was the one who saved his life. Marius and
Cossette rushed to see Valjean. They got a chance to see and to talk to Valjean one last
time. After a short visit Valjean passed away happily in the presence of Cossette.