Valjean was born a decent human being. Unfortunately he was born into poverty, which forced him to steal in order to survive. When he is caught stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, he is imprisoned for five years. He tries to escape from prison but is cough and sentenced to 19 more years in jail. When he is finally released, he is a hardened criminal that society looks down on. He is so used to people looking down on him that he almost gives up trying to be good and steals some silverware from a kind priest who gave him shelter. He is caught the police. When the police question the priest, he says that it was a gift. This started Jean Valjeans?s conversion towards a good life.
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