Heartbreak and Inspiration of Les Mis

A progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from bestiality to duty; from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. The starting point: matter, destination: the soul. The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end

-Victor Hugo

Yes, Les Mis again

The quote above just shows the tale of Les Mis and how the main character’s journey progresses from beginning to end.

The musical, Les Misérables, is one of the most successful musicals of all time. The tile literally means the miserable and can even mean the downtrodden, the outcasts, and the fugitives. The title literally gives away the fact that Les Mis is indeed a very heartbreaking musical. The musical takes place during early 19th century France starting in 1815 and ending up in 1832.

It can be quite curious as to why such a heartbreaking musical is so successful. I do remember the first time I saw the movie, the moment I learned Les Mis was a tragedy, I was so confused and sort of lost. That time around, I saw the musical as too depressing. I didn’t know if I actually liked that movie or not when it finished. I didn’t know if I would give the movie a second chance or not.

Despite all the confusion, I still decided to research the musical and learn more about the book. I even started to listen to the songs more and discover more about them. After all of that, I did decide to watch the musical movie a second time. This time around, I truly knew there was something special about the musical. I was curious as to why so much heartbreak can actually make you feel uplifted in the end.

In Les Mis, it is important not to view the musical as just a heartbreaking musical because it is way more than that. True, most of the scenes are sad and heartbreaking, but those scenes are incredible scenes to watch as a matter of fact. The story is one of misery, heartbreaking, suffering and death, but also a story of love, compassion, hope, sacrifice, forgiveness, humanity and redemption. In a lot of ways, the inspirational side of Les Mis does exist throughout the heartbreaking nature.

The heartbreaking and the inspirational nature of this musical both show up in the prologue. The very first scene, the negative emotions enter the picture and up until the bishop scene, we see Valjean being treated poorly by society. No one is given him a place to stay, a job, or even something to eat all because he was an ex-convict. All of those scenes are heartbreaking and we can feel the injustice that Valjean faces. But enter the bishop and he offers Valjean a place to sleep and food to eat. But Valjean does still steal some silver from the bishop out of desperation and he is caught. He is surprised that the bishop actually lies and tells the police that he gave Valjean the silver has a gift and gives Valjean two candlesticks. Valjean uses the lesson that bishop taught him throughout the rest of this journey. The moment the heartbreaking and the inspirational natures clash together, the two are inseparable.

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Possible Spoilers:

You see inspiration through Valjean helping the poor once he becomes mayor. There is something inspirational about Valjean rescuing a man who has fallen under his cart. There is even inspiration when Valjean learns that a man was falsely accused of being him and Valjean turns himself in. But Valjean truly shows compassion towards Fantine, a former worker at Valjean’s factory, who turns to prostitution after being fired. Valjean promises to Fantine on her deathbed that he will raise Cosette, Fantine’s daughter, as his own. So there is compassion shown during death scenes.

Another death scene where compassion is shown is through Eponine’s death scene. She has just retuned to the barricades (different circumstance in the movie) and gets caught in the crossfire and gets shot and unfortunately her wounds are fatal. She loves Marius, a revolutionary on the barricade, unrequitedly. The moment she climbs over the barricade, Marius has no clue that she is terribly hurt. But after she collapses in his arms, Marius knows what is going on. He is truly devastated, but ultimately shows her compassion by never leaving her side. Even though he thinks it is too soon for her to leave, he still stays brave for her.

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There is something hopeful about the students standing up against the government. They are so passionate about their cause. Up until Eponine’s death, the students feel like there is a chance they will win. But after Eponine died, the students realized that they are way outnumbered and feel hopeless. But they still fight hoping that others will stand up for what they believe in. Valjean arrives shortly after Eponine died and he shows mercy and forgiveness towards Javert after he releases him from the barricades even though he promised the students he will execute Javert.

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If I never found a spiritual side to Les Mis, I feel like I would be kind of tired of the musical by now. I love feeling hurt and heartbroken in this musical because I strongly care about the characters and strongly love the plot and strongly love how the show makes you feel. You can feel hope, compassion, forgiveness, love, joy, excitement, uplifted, sad, heartbreak, guilt, loneliness, anger, hopeless, fear, desperation, devastation, depressed, and even uncomfortable and there are even more than that. To understand the success of Les Mis, you need to see beyond its heartbreaking nature.

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The reasons why I believe Les Mis is so successful because it has incredible and memorable characters, like the angered, harsh, hateful turned compassionate and saintlike Valjean, the strict and obsessive Javert, the loving and prostitute Fantine, the greedy, abusive and comical Thenardiers, the loving, brave, neglected and lonely Eponine, the revolutionary and romantic Marius, the kind and innocent Cosette, the passionate and hopeful, leader Enjolras, and the unloved and heroic Gavroche. In addition, I love the brilliance of the story, which is the tale of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict and his journey to redemption, which includes the love triangle of Eponine, Marius and Cosette, the student uprising (AKA June Rebellion of 1832), and the story of Fantine.

But ultimately, I think the biggest reason why Les Mis is so successful is due the emotional nature of the songs. They make you feel several emotions at such a deep level all the way to the deepest level of the Holy Spirit. This musical feel so realistic and feels like you can truly care about the characters. Even though it is heartbreaking, it has several topics found in Christianity like love, humanity, sacrifice,  compassion, forgiveness, hope, and redemption. Les Mis is the most powerful musical ever and its complexity changed my view on musicals and taught me the value of tragedy in the first place.

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Analysis of Jean Valjean (AKA 24601)

Major Spoilers:

-1815

In Les Mis, Jean Valjean is the protagonist and one of the most complex characters in the world of musicals. At the beginning of Les Mis, you discover that he stole a loaf of bread to save his sister’s dying son. Before Valjean was sent to person, he was a humble and good person. But when he was sent to jail, he spent five years for stealing a loaf of bread and fourteen years for trying to escape, which gives him a total of nineteen years in prison. In this scene, we discover Jean Valjean’s strong dislike towards Javert. This experience hardened Valjean into a harsh, angry, and hateful man and he lost touch of his conscience and forgot who he really is.

Jean Valjean left prison to be on parole forever. He quickly found out that society treated him cruelly because he is an ex-convict and never gave him a job, place to sleep, and food to eat. All of this hardened and angered Valjean further. Jean Valjean shows the injustice that convicts face when they leave prison. At this point, it doesn’t seem like Valjean will change.

Valjean’s fate soon changes once he meets the humble, forgiving, and loving bishop. Out of everyone, the bishop was the only one who would welcome Valjean. The bishop gave him a place to sleep and food to eat. But Valjean was desperate and ended up stealing the bishop’s silverware. Valjean was caught and was sent back to the bishop’s house and the bishop covered up for Valjean and said that the silver was a gift and gave Valjean the silver candlesticks. Valjean knows that he is guilty of stealing the silver and does not clearly understand why the bishop did what he did. The bishop wants to help Valjean head on the right path and gives Valjean’s soul to God. The bishop was able to teach Valjean the ways of the Lord and forgave Valjean. Valjean eventually had an epiphany and realized he needed to change and become a better person even though it means breaking parole. The bishop shows how much one person can directly impact another person’s life.

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-1823

Years pass and the transformation of Jean Valjean has begun. He was able to change his name to Monsieur Madeline, but unfortunately Javert become policeman in the town Valjean was mayor of. Besides mayor, Valjean also owned a factory where this woman, Fantine works. We first see Valjean during this time period after Fantine gets into a fight with this other woman, but Valjean asks the foreman to break up the fight. The stage show does not make it clear why Valjean decided to not help settle things in this scene. But according to the movie, Valjean became distracted by the sight of Javert and asked the foreman to settle things. Discovering that Fantine has an illegitimate child. she was fired from her job. Valjean has no idea that Fantine has a child and that she just got fired and Fantine blames Valjean for this.

Three scenes later, Valjean makes an amazing impact on Fantine’s life. Fantine was harassed by an abusive customer and in self-defense, Fantine attacked the man. Valjean was present at the time this took place. Javert wanted to sentence Fantine for six months in prison, but Valjean insisted that she be sent to the hospital instead especially because Fantine has fallen seriously ill at this point in the story. Valjean feels guilty that Fantine was fired from his factory after he discovers the truth about Fantine.

Right after this, Valjean rescues a man whose cart fall on top of him. Javert witnesses this and begins to suspect that Monsieur Madeline is in fact Jean Valjean. One of the greatest things about Valjean is his incredible strength and the book compares Valjean’s strength to the strength of four men. Javert confesses that the “real” Valjean has been found and is about to be sentenced to life in prison. This gives Valjean a dilemma because he could either turn himself in or not. He is mayor and owner of a factory and if he says he is Valjean, he will abandon tons of workers and it will affect his status as mayor. But Valjean knows what it is like to be in prison and feels the innocent man’s pain and agony. He decides to go with the second choice and confess that they caught the wrong man and that was a difficult decision, but the right decision.

On Fantine’s deathbed, Valjean promised to her that he would raise her child, Cosette, as his own. This shows that Valjean is learning how to show concern and compassion towards others. Right after Fantine dies, Javert arrives and tries to arrest Valjean, but Valjean wins and was able to rescue Cosette from the evil Thenardiers.

At this point, Valjean did believe that Cosette was deathly ill due to what Fantine, Cosette’s mother, told him. As a matter of fact, he saw that Cosette was being terribly abused. He discovers that when he finds the little girl in the woods collecting water at night. He was shocked to learn that this was the little girl he was looking for. Even though Cosette barely knew Valjean, she immediately trusted him. Valjean took Cosette back to the Thenardiers and insisted that he take Cosette away, but the Thenardiers insisted that Cosette is better in the hands of them, but Valjean saw through their lies and knew the truth about Cosette.

Cosette was the first person in Valjean’s life after prison that he loved. Cosette had such an impact on Valjean’s life even though it will be tough raising Cosette as he is still on the run from Javert. Valjean rescued Cosette from a terrible fate and raised her to be loving and charitable.

Yes, he may be overprotected and he might shelter Cosette a bit too much, but he is an ex-convict. Valjean’s love for Cosette shows that love can truly change a person. Before Cosette, he did love his sister and nephew before he was sent to prison, but he forgot how to love after being released. So through Cosette, Valjean learned to love again and she is another person that had a huge impact on Valjean’s life.

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-1832

Years pass and Cosette, now 17, has lived under the care of Valjean for nine years. She has one of the best fathers. Through Valjean, Cosette’s life changes as well. When the two meet, they were both broken people and they were healed through their love for each other. Valjean became Cosette’s adopted father through unexpected circumstances. As much as Valjean loves Cosette, he never once had the courage to tell Cosette about the darkness of his past. The Thenardiers try to rob Valjean twice: the first being during the Robbery and the second during the Attack at Rue Plumet.

The second time, Valjean was warned when Eponine screamed to alert Marius, Cosette, and Valjean. Valjean was convinced that Javert has found out where he lived and he made the decision to take Cosette to England, but he has no idea that his daughter has now fallen in love with a young revolutionary student named Marius. It is tough because Valjean still has to live the life of an ex-convict.

Later on in the show in act two, Valjean discovers that Cosette has in fact fallen in love with Marius through a letter that Eponine delivered to him. He soon leaves and it is not made clear in the stage show why Valjean leaves after he reads the letter and what he is planning to do. At this point, he don’t know if Valjean plans to save Marius or not. Valjean does not want to rescue Marius in a way because that risks losing Cosette forever or he can actually go to the barricades to protect the one that his adopted daughter loves. Due to how much Valjean loves Cosette, Valjean makes one of the most difficult decisions ever.

We later learn that Valjean arrives on the barricades and I think he went out of love for Cosette in order to protect Marius. Enjolras does not trust Valjean, but after Valjean warns them of some army people, Enjolras learns to trust him. Valjean was given the task of executing Javert, but Valjean decided to let Javert go and shows Javert mercy and forgiveness. Valjean even shows that people can learn to forgive their enemies, which shows through this scene. Valjean realizes that the students and Marius have a slim chance of surviving the uprising and he prays to God to save Marius.

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During the actual uprising, Marius became seriously wounded and fell unconscious, which forces Valjean to carry Marius through the sewers. He did this because he wants to save the man that his adopted daughter loves. If it wasn’t for Valjean, Marius would have died at the barricades.Valjean decides to confess to Marius the truth about him being an ex-convcit and it is not made clear why Valjean makes this decision. Valjean does not attend his daughter’s wedding in order to protect her due to his ex-convict status.

Because Cosette is now out of Valjean’s life, he feels completely broken. He is now dying due to a broken heart. He almost died alone. But at the wedding, Marius discovers that Valjean was his savior at the barricades and learns of Valjean’s current location and takes Cosette there. Marius confesses to Cosette that Valjean is in fact a saint because he saved his life. Valjean does eventually confess that he is dying and decides to give Cosette a note, which tells her of his wounded, broken and dark past. Even though Valjean dies, he accepts it and dies in peace and comfort due to being with both Cosette and Marius.

Valjean is the kind of character that teaches you how you can raise above your background and that you can become a better person. Valjean lives through the example set by the bishop throughout his life. Valjean represents injustice that convicts fact once released. Valjean does seem like the kind of person that isn’t capable to change, but through the act of one person, Valjean truly learned the importance of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. Valjean learned about love through the child, Cosette, and it is very hard for him to let her go. Not only does Valjean represent injustice, but he also represents change. He once was filled with so much hate, bitterness, and anger, but he learned to become compassionate, forgiving, kind, good, and even saintlike. He helped save Fantine (even though he couldn’t save her life), Cosette, and Marius.

Tomorrow is Javert.

Discovery of Musicals

One of the best things about being a musical fan is discovering what a musical is capable of. Growing up, I basically discovered what a musical is able to do on a basic level. Through the ones I grew up with, there was dance, spectacle, positive and negative emotions and those emotions were excitement, love, joy, and sad and I even was able to learn that musicals are known for giving you an emotional connection. I even learned that all musicals were happy, but later I discovered that statement was not even true to begin with.

I especially love discovering musicals now because musicals are capable of even more than they were capable of when I was younger. Out of the blue, tragic musicals decided to enter my life. I did believe the all musicals were happy, but I think the tragic musicals picked the right timing to enter my life. It is also even ironic what tragic musical I fell in love with first. It might seem like Les Mis was part of my life first, but it actually was Rent even though I realized Rent was sad after I learned Les Mis was tragic. I fell in love with Rent by listening to the songs through Pandora in Fall of 2012 and did not even know the plot, but I knew I just had to see the stage show live, which still hasn’t happened, but next year it is finally coming to my hometown and I asked Santa to give me tickets to see it next year.

Possible Spoilers of Les Mis:

I started really loving discovering what musicals were capable of when Les Mis entered my life. I first saw that movie in December of 2012 and I was so confused and shocked when that musical entered my life. I was kind of reluctant to see the movie because the preview wasn’t that convincing, but I went anyways just to listen to “I Dreamed a Dream”. Right after Fantine died, I realized Les MIs was tragic and I was thinking “wait a minute, musicals can be tragic”! I just didn’t know what to do and so as result I watched the rest of the movie in such shock that I just had a hard time paying attention. By the end, I only remembered hearing “I Dreamed a Dream”, “Master of the House”, and “Do You Hear the People”. “Do You Hear the People Sing” was stuck in my head and it still is today. So after watching that movie for the first time, I was thinking “did I just learn to like a tragedy?” However I really did not know if I liked it or not.

But I still went straight and started researching the musical almost as if Les Mis was supposed to become part of my life. I decided to give the movie a second chance and I was able to calm down and truly pay attention and thats when I started crying and that time was when I knew that there was something special about Les Mis. During the first time, I think my soul was moved while I wasn’t. But during this second time, I was fully moved and knew that I found something very special in this musical and wanted to know why I felt uplifted so I started digging even deeper into the musical. I later learned it was truly a story about hope, compassion, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity and redemption.

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Ever since Les Mis, I was more interested in discovering what a musical is capable of especially in the emotions. Though Les Mis, I realized that musical emotions were more capable than I originally thought. Les Mis just is that kind of musical that is uniquely more powerful and covered with more emotions than any other musical I discovered. The Les MIs emotions I know exist are passion, excitement, love, joy, hope, compassion, forgiveness, uplifting, heartbreak, sad, loneliness, desperation, devastation, depressing, hopeless, uncomfortable, fear, guilt, and anger among many others.

Musicals are more capable than I once thought they are were. That shows how much musicals have grown over the years. Musicals emotions like to mature over time, which makes me feel more vulnerable with musicals as I get older. I even discovered a new kind of spectacle that musicals were capable of, which was circus, which I learned through “Pippin”, which I wanted to see since I listened to “Corner of the Sky” and what I knew about Pippin coming in was the whole circus theme and what Corner of the Sky was about and through the preview and through that song, I was able to guess correctly that Pippin was in fact a musical comedy.

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I even have been able to discover different kinds of dance, which was clearly learned through Newsies this year. It was the first musical I saw where the entire cast was mainly male-based. Different kinds of dance were introduced where boys were jumping high up in the air, over each other , dancing on newspapers and sliding under each other.

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All because of Les Mis, I became more interested in discovering what in the world musicals can truly be capable of. All because of that musical, I was more inserted in discovering those negative emotions and it was not just the negative emotions that changed because the positive emotions seem to change while negative emotions change since the two clearly rely on each other. Because of all these changes, instead of calling all musical happy and full of life (meaning only those exciting numbers) I started calling all musicals joyful (referring to the experience and the positive nature), and full of life ( referring to the entire story), emotional and unique .

Any other musical fan, do you all like fully discovering what a musical is capable of?

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The Beauty of Life

Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful

-Unknown

Life is beautiful in so many ways. Life is not perfect, but that is part of what makes life beautiful. Everyone goes through these tough times, but those are times that can help us grow as people. Life is like this gigantic roller coaster with twists and turns and ups and downs and filled with so many emotions. Life is really beautiful now especially because we are in the middle of Christmas season. My life has been filled with many wonderful memories and tonight I will create another. I am seeing Nutcracker and at this production, I cannot wait to see all of the new costumes.

Without the bad times in life, how will we know what the good times in life are. The two are interconnected and rely on each other. It can be hard to understand the messiness and chaos of life at times. I know life is beautiful and I do the best I can to live in the moment. Living in the moment is very difficult. There is so much to life. There are ways you can make life even more beautiful. You can just spend time out in nature to really see the beauty of life. You can make the most of every situation and just spend some time off the computer. You can color if you want or you can just try something new. I may be young, but I understand the beauty of life. Life is what you make of it and is worth it even when the dark times hit.

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The Strength of Love

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing…love never fails

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At this time of year, we are celebrating a miracle, the birth of Christ. He was sent here for an important reason. Christ taught us that the biggest commandant is to love others. Love is the truest part of humanity. Love is a huge part of what makes us who we are. Love is the strongest force of all and will always win over hate. Christ wants us to love others while the devil tries to teach us hate. But love is greater than hate and violence. To make an impact on this world, we need to spread the love. I am fully aware that God loves us unconditionally and we are directed to love each other the same way. Christ died for us to save us from our sins and we look up to him as a role model. We all make mistakes, but remember the importance of love in our lives.

Hate just will not overcome love. We may all have our differences, but that is what makes us truly unique. We need to embrace each other and accept the differences we have. Society might look severely messed up, but it is not as messed up as it appears to be. It sounds as if humanity is completely lost, but in reality it is not. The vast majority of this world this still good. We still help those in need and support each. We need to listen to the Lord and not Satan in this time of year and for the rest of our lives.

The Potter and the Clay

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel

-Jeremiah 18:1-6

A lump of clay and humans have a lot more in common than it seems. Both are made up of minerals and lots of water. Even clay can be made into anything just like humans can become anything they aspire to anything.

The potter’s hands is like the hands of God.

There is more than one step when creating a vessel on a wheel. The first step is creating the wedge. In that stage, you need to apply pressure and stress just to get all of the air out. If you don’t it will wobble or blow up in the kiln. Just like putting pressure and stress on the clay, we also go through stress and consequences to get the perfect design. God knows the perfect design by creating every single one of us and gets to decide what we are born to be and what personalities and interests we will have. After all of the air gets out, it is time to attach the clay to the wheel. The clay needs to be attached through the hands of the potter just like we need to attach ourselves to the hands of God.

The next step is centering the clay on the wheel. If not, the clay will wobble, tear up, or lose a lot of clay. We need to learn to be centered so we can look to God in hard and dark times. The potter’s hands are very wise and firm and it is the duty of the potter to tell the clay what to do. God always needs to tell us what to do. He tells us what to do and he also leads, guides, and helps reduce friction in our lives.

Once centered, it is time to start creating an actual opening. The same is true for us as humans. We need to open ourselves to the Father in enter our very core, which is the Holy Spirit. Now it is time for the clay and us to start growing. The clay starts out by growing virtually and we start out by growing vertically in our relationships in Christ. The potter has to know what shape it will be. The potter knows to remove the bad in his piece and the knows how to strengthen the good in the vessel.

The potter does talk about pots, which is kind of like an analogy to the outside of the humans body. People fail to realize that who we really are as a person is who we are in the inside. The most important part of the vessel is the actual inside. Once the vessel is finally shaped, it is time to cut the vessel from the wheel. The potter knows to let the vessel air dry because he knows this is the time when the vessel is the most fragile. At this time, anything can happen. The vessel can become broken. As humans, this is when we tend to get discouraged and tend to go through a rather hurtful time in our lives.

While sitting in the kiln, the vessel become a ceramic. The potter needs to listen just like God needs to listen when we are in the fire. When we enter the fire, we become a new creation. The potter needs to know when the kiln is a certain degrees and needs to know when it take it out. The same also works for God.

In ceramics, no two pots are exactly the same. The same is true for humans. No two humans are exactly the same. We all have different personalities, lives, strengths, weaknesses, interests, dreams, and goals. The hand of God is comforting, safe, powerful, faithful, wise, and loving.

Are you willing to put yourself into the potter’s hands?

Mercy of a Bishop

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest

-Matthew 11:28

This quote reminds me of the entire bishop scene from the musical, Les Mis. This is the moment in the show where the spirituality truly starts to exist. Without this scene, you really don’t have Les Mis.

Jean Valjean, the protagonist, has just been released from jail. He was sentenced for five years just for stealing a loaf of bread to save his sister’s dying son, but in all sentenced for nineteen years due to multiple escapes. His time spent in hard labor has hardened this good-hearted man into a hardened, harsh, and angry man. Jean Valjean was to realize after being released that society looks down upon him because he is an ex-convict. He kept on trying to find a job, a place to stay, and food to eat, but no one welcomed him. This made Valjean feel inferior and made him hate society even more.

But in comes the bishop. He opened Valjean to his house with open arms and gave him food and a place to stay for the night. Despite the bishop’s kindness, Valjean woke up in the middle of the night and stole the bishop’s silver out of desperation. But he was caught by police and taken back to the bishop’s house. The bishop lied to the police and said that the silver was in fact a gift. The bishop eventually told Valjean to use all of the silver to become a better man. The bishop even gave him the candlesticks, which represent light and hope throughout the entire show. The bishop even bought Valjean’s soul for God. This entire scene was when Valjean learned the ways of the Lord. He vowed to change his life and become a better person. By the end of Les Mis, we see Jean Valjean as a compassionate and saintlike-man. He helped save many lives and he helped save Fantine, Cosette, and Marius.

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The story of Fantine is quite a heartbreaking one. She worked at Valjean’s factory and was fired for having an illegitimate child by the foreman. She blames this all on Valjean, but he was unaware of what went on. She had to sell her locket and hair and become a prostitute in order to provide for her daughter.

One day, she was harassed by an abusive customer and out of defense she attacked the customer and injured him. Valjean saved her life by pleading with Javert to take her to the hospital especially because Javert was going to send her to jail. Valjean was filled with guilt that Fantine was fired from his factory and wanted to make up for it. He saved Fantine during this interaction and was able to get her to the hospital even though it was too late. But he promised her on her deathbed that he would raise Cosette as his own.

He was able to save Cosette from a life of terrible abuse by the Thenardiers. She was a very broken, unloved child at the age of eight. Cosette taught Valjean to love and she ended up having a better life because she was rescued. As a teenager she fell in love with Marius, and when Valjean learned Marius was one of the students on the barricades, he went to the barricades in order to protect him. On the barricades, he prayed to God to allow this young gentlemen to live and not die, even though Valjean was the one to take Marius home.

Without the bishop’s action, none of this would have happened along with other actions. The story would not have been so inspiring if the bishop did not teach Valjean the ways the Lord. Les Mis is truly a story of compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, hope, love, and redemption. One of the things that makes Valjean one of the most memorable literary characters is Valjean’s journey from an angered, harsh, and hateful man into a better man.That is the overall message of the story- “To love another person is to see the face of God”