Man Accused of Stealing Silver Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Social and financial inequity continue to grow in modern society, and while Hugo may have had deep down hopes for improvements in the future, it is evident throughout most of his work that he was ultimately pessimistic about the future of justice and equality. As it turns out, unfortunately, his pessimism was not misplaced.

Les Miserables is exactly as its title implies, which is why the "dismal, lurid, grotesque imagery" is necessary to create the somber mood that haunts the novel. Yet what some critics fail to acknowledge is that this story also conveys a great deal of hope about the nature of the human spirit, the ability of man to do right by others even if it means sacrificing himself. Hugo and his novel may be pessimistic, but there is clearly a hint of optimism in there as well, which can be seen through righteous, heroic characters like Jean Valjean.

Quote 2: "While seemingly good, Javert's actions spur from motives of none but Javert, and as such, render the foundation for greater injustices."

Javert's motives in tracking down Valjean were clearly personal. Yet Javert was able to convince himself that his obsession was rooted in his duty to uphold the law and see justice done. If he had done some serious soul searching, Javert would have likely realized that the reason he wanted to capture Jean so badly had nothing to do with the law, but had everything to do with him not looking like a failure. While it is true that Javert was married to the law and believed in its virtues, he was only able to see the situation in black and white, refusing to see any possible exceptions to his duty.

I agree with the critic that because of his own self-interests and bruised ego, Javert actually ended up creating greater injustices than the ones he was trying to correct. Had he simply left Valjean alone, knowing that he was a good and righteous man who had already served far too many years in prison simply for stealing a loaf of bread, he and Valjean could have both lived much more peaceful and content lives. However since he could not stand to lose, he became obsessed with Jean's capture and in the process, blinded himself to the fact that his quest was personal, and that is was ultimately harmful to everyone involved, including himself.

Classified Advertisements

Wanted: M. And Mme Thenardier seek young girl for slave labor. Must be willing to learn illegal schemes and scams, and be willing to double as a whipping post.

For Sale: "Jugs and Crocks, Flower-pots, pipes, bricks" (Hugo 138)

Found: Intuition - Gavroche tells Valjean "You have the air of an honest man." Gavroche as a savvy street urchin has the intuition that he can trust Jean Valjean, and he is correct.

Found: Imagination -- Marius tells Cossette: "Just imagine, there was a terrible quagmire enough to drown one a hundred times over, to drown one in mire. Cosette! He made me traverse it" (Hugo, 243). Marius uses descriptive language and metaphors to convey his experiences.

Found: Feeling - "Happily for Jean Valjean that he had been able to weep. That relieved him, possibly. But the beginning was savage. A tempest, more furious than the one which had formerly driven him to Arras, broke loose within him. The past surged up before him facing the present; he compared them and sobbed. The silence of tears once opened, the despairing man writhed" (Hugo 116). The entire novel is fraught with raw emotion and no man or woman…

Cite This Thesis:

"Man Accused Of Stealing Silver" (2010, February 07) Retrieved February 23, 2018, from

"Man Accused Of Stealing Silver" 07 February 2010. Web.23 February. 2018. <>

"Man Accused Of Stealing Silver", 07 February 2010, Accessed.23 February. 2018,