French Revolution Left France Impoverished: As seen in Victor Hugo?s Les Miserables

The french revolution was to help the French people gain freedom and their rights, but it came with repercussions. In the astounding novel of Les Miserables written by Victor Hugo, Victor Hugo expressed his concern on the poor people of France when he wrote a story about the life of a philanthropist. The philanthropist’s name was Jean Valjean and the audience can see Victor Hugo’s emphasization on his care for the poor through Jean Valjean. Even though Jean himself was enduring France’s economic decline, he still gave to the impoverished. When the French Revolution ended, it left the poor people of France, even more indigent than they were before.

Although the French Revolution did promote the importance of liberty and gave the French people their rights back, the revolution put France in a period of economic struggles. The revolution left almost all of France’s poor. In Les Miserables, the audience is introduced to the impoverished lifestyle that Jean Valjean had. Jean Valjean’s family was going through tough financial problems and he was faced with the final decision of stealing. When Jean Valjean was sentenced to 19 years in jail, he knew “…that whatever he had done had been to feed and clothe seven little children” (Hugo 24). Victor Hugo depicts how immeasurably valuable the French Revolution had made a simple loaf of bread. He also shows how Jean Valjean’s decision of stealing bread with affect his future. Although Jean Valjean’s life still continues and he recieves a second chance at life thanks to a sweet bishop, the fact that he stole a loaf of bread, will always be stuck in his mind and his past would always come back to haunt him.Because the French economy plummeted super low, food prices soared high. Meats became…

…in order to support their own families, like Jean Valjean. Victor Hugo’s novel, not only showed the economic crisis that France was going through, he also showed how society got a truly good man to believe that he was horrible. The novel really shows how a positive event can also bring such negative impacts.

Works Cited

1. Hugo, Victor. Les Miserables. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997. Print.

2. Lynn, Michael R. “RIOTS AND RYE: BREAD AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.” Ultimate History Project. Web. 1 March 2014.3. “Social Causes of the Revolution.” Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. Web. 3 March 2014.

4. “Victor Marie Hugo, Vicomte.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 3 March 2014.

You Might Also Like