David Diaz and Cristian PerezMrs. LoveallAP Literature and Composition16 January 2018The Struggles of Love and Redemption in Les Miserables It is unchallenging for a person to fall in love with another person, but to get that person to fall in love with him/herthem can be difficult. It can be difficult if a person does not have specific requirements he/shethey isare looking for, such as personality, appearance, and viewpoint towards conversational topics. True love can be difficult to find.
In fact, 88% of Americans cited love as an important reason to get married (Livingston and Caumont). However, the percentage of divorces in an unsuccessful marriage is between 40 to 50 percent (O’Neill). The chance of a couple to have a successful marriage is about a 50/50 chance. However, if someone in the relationship does something wrong that harm the feelings of the other, whether if it is through love or not, it can be challenging for him/herthem to redeem the trust of that person back. The path of redemption can be difficult as it enables a person to find it within themselves, but it is not impossible (Lickerman M.D).
In the Novel Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, tThe character, Marius, struggles with love over a woman named Cosette that he sees at the Pplace Luxembourg and the redemption with his gGrandfather over France’s political views. During the French Revolution, which was the time period between 1789 and 1799, political views were divided among people. Those who accepted the king and hisits ideals over the country of France. Republicans who believed in not having any form of monarcyMonarch and believing there were issues within their country that were not being solved. And the legitimacy who wanted a form of mMonarch but believed that the mMonarch in controlled was not from the royal family.
The Battle of Waterloo, which took place on June 18, 1815, was the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was able to conquer much of Europe that the French Military rose up on ranks during the French Revolution. However, he was defeated by British, and Prussians and was exiled in 1814 but resumed his power in 1815 (History.com). In the novel, Marius’s father, George Pontmercy, was in the Battle of Waterloo,. dDuring the time that Napoleon was Eemperor of France. Marius was living with his gGrandfather, Gillenormand, and did not know much about him or what he did.
He knew at the time that “he had a father, but nothing more. Nobody spoke a word to him about him” (Hugopage 228). Marius father, however, would write letters to Marius but the Grandfather would “tTrust into his pocket without reading” (page 228). The Grandfather is preventing Marius from knowing who his father is. He instead makes Marius not have feelings for his father because he thought that his father never loved him.
This is a loss not only for Marius’s father but for Marius himself as his father had died of a brain a brain fever and did not care for his death. Marius did not show any emotion of sympathy towards his father. Eventually, Marius was told by an old man at a church how his father “had sacrificed himself that his son might someday be rich and happy. They were separated by political opinions” (page 233). This makes Marius more confused because he had always thought that his father had never loved him.
This caused him to “read all the histories of the republic and the empire, the Memorial de Sainte-Hélène, all the memoirs, journals, bulletins, proclamation; he devoured everything” (page 234). He learns about his father for who he was and what he did. He is filled with regret and tears up and says, “Father! I am here! It is I! My heart is the same as yours! I am your son! (page 235). Marius feels regret for not loving his father and believing that his father never loved him. He redeems himself by gaining rehabilitation for his father. He learns about his father name in the Grand Army and starts to like his father.
However, as Marius gains rehabilitation for his father he also had passed rehabilitation for Napoleon. He is supporting Napoleon due to the fact that his father was in the Battle of Waterloo, showing that his father had the same political views that Napoleon wanted. His Grandfather kept Marius away because he was a Monarchist, Believing in King Louis XVIII.
When his grandfather finds out about Marius being close to his father it sets up an argument between the Grandson and the Grandfather. The Grandfather mentions to Marius that his father and everyone who supported Napoleon were, “All brigands who served B-u-o-naparte! All traitors who betrayed, betrayed, betrayed! Their legitimate King!” (page 241). The grandfather refers to King Louis XVIII as the legitimate king, as he lived in the exiles of Prussia until Napoleon was defeated. Marius gets upset that he wanted to avenge his father for what his Grandfather had said to him. This made Marius say in a thundering voice, “Down with the Bourbons, and the great hog Louis XVIII!” (page 241). This made his Grandfather upset and told Marius too, “Be off!” (page 242). The redemption of Marius coming back to his Grandfather will be difficult due to both having different political opinions. Marius’s Grandfather does not believe in Marius’s republican view and supporting his father and Napoleon.
However, Marius does not want to abandon his new political view as it would also mean to abandon his father and support what his Grandfather believes in order to live together without arguing over each other about both of them having different opinions. But the chance of redemption for both to come back together is not impossible because the Grandfather, “missed Marius. Old men need affection as they do sunshine” (page 261). The Grandfather begins to have a more open-minded view on what Marius believed in.
He starts to care more about his grandson in person and not about preventing him from following his father’s believes. Marius, However, “He had still the same opinions. But they were softened” (page 266).
The join of redemption had become possible due to the fact both opinions are attached not as much. Both could try to live back together if they are willing to accept each other for who they are and for what they believe in.When France was undergoing the French Revolution, citizens were put into three categories. Those categories were the First, Second, and Third Estate. The First Estate involved the Roman Catholic Church and the Clergy. The Second Estate was the Noblemen. And the Third Estate was everyone else such as the commoners or the poor people who were part of France.
In the time period of the French Revolution, those who were categorized as the First or Second had an insignificant taxation than those who were placed in the Third. Approximately, Twenty-seven million people fell into the Third Estate which was ninety-eight percent of the nation. The First and Second estate was around two percent of the population is around four hundred and eighty thousand people of French civilians (Llewellyn, Thompson). Although Cosette and Jean Valjean are described as being wealthy, they do not show this from their actions but the way that they are dressed.
However, in Marius case, he did have money and is a wealthy person but he refuses to the help from his family. His Grandfather, Monsieur Gillamond, told his daughter that she will, “send sixty pistoles every six months” (page 242). Instead of taking the money that is being given from his family he decided to become independent. He also leaves his family and lives poor on Boulevard Montparnasse in the village of Austerlitz. He later sees a beautiful young girl with her father whom he referred to them as Monsieur Leblanc and Mademoiselle Lanoire. Cosette is described as a woman, ” whom he now saw was a noble, beautiful creature, with all the most bewitching outlines of a woman” (page 270). Being in different categories, Marius can’t talk to Cosette due to the fact that they move and Marius becomes heartbroken. This is a struggle for Marius due to the fact that he is not seen as important of a person compared to Cosette.
Marius saw Cosette as a “Woman well dressed, with a sort of simple and rich elegance without any particular style” (page 272). Cosette is a Nobel women meanwhile Marius is someone trying to find love. Marius struggles with love as he does not have the qualities to be a nobleman. Scene Marius has nothing to lose, the love for Cosette would be a new start for Marius. In conclusion, During the French Revolution, France was in control by King Louis XVIII before Napoleon. People were ranked into categories by the amount of money they had. With the people being divided, the ones being taxed the most were those who were put into the Third Estate showing the corruption with the tax system.
In the French Revolution, those who had money were in charge owning parts of France similar to the king but peasants were being treated bad, showing a separation between people. Even if there were differences with people’s social class, politics made people’s political view worse. Monarchist enjoyed having a king but while others such as Republican, believed there was a problem with France and did not support a king.
The book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo was written about this time period showing what was happening as well as the problems during the time. Victor Hugo used love and redemption in his novel to demonstrate the difficulty of finding love as well as agreeing with someone’s political view while people have their own beliefs. The ABC Friends was based on the Society of Rights of Men which played a part in helping France become a better place as well as fix the corrupt system. Leading to a new era.
Marius foresaw what France was becoming but in politics by is soon found in a struggle of love when he sees Cosette. Making him move towards a new life rather than following any of the political views from his family. Work CitedHistory.com Staff. “Battle of Waterloo.” History.com, A Television Networks, 2009, www.
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