Victor Hugo made it so that the characters in Les Miserables progressed throughout the novel. The theme ?progress? can be seen and used widely. Three main characters, Jean Valjean, Cossette, and Javert expressed positive and negative forms of growth.
Jean Valjean began the story as an ex-convict who was searching for food and shelter after working in the galleys for sixteen years. Unfortunately, he failed to receive compassion from any lodging, or home. While he was wandering through the streets after been rejected so many times, “he came to the prefecture then to the seminary. On passing by the cathedral square he shook his fist at the church” (22). Through this discrete action, it was clear how he had felt toward the church. The church, we learned was a representation of his resentment toward everyone and everything around him (due to his past experienced of suffering). After he found shelter within the Bishop?s lodging, he expressed his gratitude for excepting him, and began to tell stories of suffering in the past. Here, the reader would assume this encounter and expression would be the end of Jean Valjean?s criminal actions, as did the Bishop when he said, ?you have left a
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