Books and Movies Reviews

Love and Forgiveness

Loving others, while difficult, is not always a thankless task; love creates compassion, whereas compassion generates love.In Les Miserables, Hugo affirms that love and compassion are the most essential gifts one individual can give another and that always displaying these characteristics ought to be the most momentous goal in life.You could almost say that love and compassion are virtually contagious, passed on from one character to another in this novel.
Jean Val Jean's transformation from a hate-filled and hard-edged criminal into a well-respected humanitarian reassures readers of Hugo’s emphasis on love.For it is only by learning to love others that Val Jean is able to improve himself.Readers cannot help but feel a sense of annoyance in realizing from the very start that the ;crime; of Val Jean was so menial.He did nothing truly worthy of censure under any reasonable law, but the mistreatment he undergoes in prison causes him to feel an overwhelming sense of bitterness, which then makes him capable of doing the exact things he has been accused for.This is intended to receive a great deal of forgiveness from society towards this ex-con.While Val Jean’s efforts on behalf of others unavoidably cause him troubles, they also give him a sense of contentment and fulfillment that he has never before felt. Val Jean’s love for others, in particular for his daughter Cosette, is what keeps him going and what rescues him in times of need.
Another strong influence on Val Jean;s love for humanity is that of the Bishop.In giving Val Jean the silver, Myriel has purchased his soul for God, though Val Jean does
not realize what is happening to him.It is obvious that he is basically a good person to start with, and that once the years of torment surpass him, the saintly man will emerge.Throughout this novel readers will find the religious value that Hugo is trying to come across.

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