Introduction & Overview of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Les Miserables.
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Les Miserables Summary & Study Guide Description

Les Miserables Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Study on Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

When Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables first came out in 1862, people in Paris and elsewhere lined up to buy it Although critics were less receptive, the novel was an instant popular success. The French word "miserables" means both poor wretches and scoundrels or villains The novel offers a huge cast that includes both kinds of "miserables." A product of France's most prominent Romantic writer, Les Miserables ranges far and wide. It paints a vivid picture of Paris's seamier side, discusses the causes and results of revolution, and includes discourses on topics ranging from the Battle of Waterloo to Parisian street slang. But the two central themes that dominate the novel are the moral redemption of its main character, Jean Valjean, an ex-convict, and the moral redemption of a nation through revolution. Victor Hugo said: "I condemn slavery, I banish poverty, I teach ignorance, I treat disease, I lighten the night, and I hate hatred. That is what I am, and that is why I have written Les Miserables." The novel is a critical statement against human suffering, poverty, and ignorance. Its purpose is as much political as it is artistic.

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This section contains 191 words
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