Symbolism In Les Miserables

Les Miserables is a book written by French author Victor Hugo and published in 1862. Symbolism can be found throughout the novel, with many of the characters donning names with symbolic significance. Below are some quotes from Les Miserables that show instances of symbolism, along with brief explanations on what each quote means or stands for. Quotes from Les Miserables Symbolism Symbolism “Nothing makes one so vain as being told that one is a sinner.

Until then, we all think ourselves pretty good people. Human beings are often their own worst critic; this quote symbolizes the extent of Valjean’s self-hatred and self-loathing. “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ” This quote shows how difficult it is to achieve your goals; you can’t succeed unless you’re willing to take risks, even if it means abandoning your comfort zone. “A life like yours isn’t easy… It’s filled with remorse and despair.

It’s a terribly painful battle you’re waging inside yourself. ” This quote shows that Valjean is empathetic to another person, even if the other person doesn’t think so highly of him; he knows what it’s like to be judged by others due to his past sins. “After all, I’m not really so terrible…. I’m only an unfortunate who has done some wrong things in his life. ” Sins aren’t something people can control; they can happen out of ignorance or desperation. Everyone makes mistakes.

Les Miserables is a novel written by French author Victor Hugo. A story filled with both drama and action, the novel takes place in early 19 th century France. The main character of the novel, Jean Valjean, is on parole after serving nineteen years for stealing bread to feed his sister’s starving child. He meets many people throughout his journey that will change him into who he is at the end of this book. While on parole, Valjean encounters antagonists whose actions force him to change further into a man with retribution on his mind. Symbolism is used frequently throughout Les Miserables.

Symbolism can be defined as “[a] thing that stands for something else” (Dictionary. com). There are many symbols used in Les Miserables, but three of them are relevant to the theme of the book. The first symbol is blood, which represents guilt and punishment. For example, when Fantine was fired from her job she went to the Thenardiers’ inn to sing for money, but then she began to bleed profusely. This symbolized that her sin was bleeding through everything she did; another example is when Valjean “drank the cup of his crime” (Hugo 14) after he stole bread.

Blood also represents guilt because it signifies atonement for wrongdoing. It comes up again when Marius killed Javert by shooting him, thinking that he deserved death for killing an unarmed man. Another important symbolism is the Cross, which represents sacrifice and salvation. The Cross is important to the story because Jean Valjean carries a Cross that comes from the Bishop of Digne. He carries this cross with him throughout his journey, and it symbolizes how he was saved by divine grace.

Lastly, the street lamp is a symbolism that appears quite a few times in Les Miserables. This symbol represents hope, and when Marius is trapped in an abandoned barricade during the June Rebellion, he kept his love for Cosette alive by telling her about what they would do after their victory through “the light that streamed out between the branches”. Symbolism is very important when it comes to understanding Les Miserables because without understanding its deeper meanings within the book it would be almost impossible to understand.

Symbolism gives this story more meaning and puts a lot of events into perspective. Les Miserables is an amazing novel that contains many interesting quotes that give us insight on certain themes and characters. One character that features these themes is Jean Valjean. Although he starts off as a criminal, we see him transform into someone who truly cares about others and wants to help them. During his first encounter with Cosette, Valjean says “I am like the rest; I want to live my life; no sorrow can be so great as mine… let me pass! (Hugo 45).

We know from this quote that he has committed horrible crimes in his past, but that doesn’t stop him from being a compassionate man. Valjean’s remark to Fantine “You must make your peace with God” (Hugo 210) shows us how much he cares about other people and how willing he is to help them. Later in the novel, we see this great care when he tells Cosette “I am here [in Paris] for only one thing; I will do what I can” (Hugo 202). His willingness to do anything for anyone is remarkable and makes his character very unique and sympathetic.

The novel follows the life of Jean Valjean, who after spending nineteen years in jail for stealing bread to feed his sister’s family, is released from prison only to find himself hounded by police officer Javert due to an unyielding belief that he will return to a life of crime. Despite having served his time, it becomes clear that living as a free man will be very difficult for Valjean and so he ends up leaving town and assumes a new identity where he becomes a factory owner named Monsieur Madeleine. He also adopts a young girl Cosette, whose mother Fantine has recently died.

The novel is famous for its use of symbolism and multiple themes that examine justice, authority and the effects of the French penal system in addition to examining societal problems like poverty and prostitution in France at the time. The novel also examines how certain events can lead to moral decline or spiritual awakening. Les Miserables is often compared to other well-known works such as Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because it uses literary techniques such as serialization and characterization.

However, unlike Great Expectations, Les Miserables does not have a linear plotline leading from one event to another but instead consists of many different story lines that connect with each other later on in the narrative. One such example is the relationship between Marius and Cosette, which does not begin until much later in the novel. Les Miserables has been adapted into a movie multiple times, most recently in 2012 starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert. The musical adaptation of Les Miserables also features one of the longest Broadway runs with more than 6,500 performances between 1987 and 2003.

Les Miserables Important Quotes Symbolism and Key Facts: Symbolism: Symbolism plays a key role throughout Les Miserables; for instance, Hugo uses many objects such as weapons or other items to symbolize ideas or themes that are present at that particular moment These symbols add layers to the narrative by making the reader reconsider their actions or what they have just read when analyzing it in a different light. It also offers deeper insight to certain characters when used as a way to foreshadow events.

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