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Les Miserables and Social Injustice

            As Samuel Johnson once said, Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so. The book, Les Misrables written by Victor Hugo in 1862, was actually written to show the world how badly the French government was treating their citizens. This novel is about Valjeans journey towards redemption after going to prison for nineteen years. Through his journey he encounters a woman named Fantine and later dies leaving an orphan named Cosette. He decides to adopt Cosette and live together. Throughout all his journey, he encounters a policeman named Javert who is always trying to arrest him because Valjean escaped Parole. Cosette later meets a man named Marius and marries him. Valjean dies of age with his only love, Cosette. As described above, Valjean has been living a very unfair life, just because he stole a loaf of bread. Social injustice hacan be represented through Valjeans imprisonment, Fantines death and Mariuss life.
             The character most affected by social injustice was Jean Valjean. Although he is a very humble person who is not capable of hurting anyone, he was sent to prison for nineteen years. The only crime he made was stealing a loaf of bread for his starving family. Valjean feels like he is a criminal and must be punished. Valjean describes how feels when he stated, I am a galley-slave-a convict-I am just from the galleys (Hugo 17). This quote is significant to my theme because it tells the readers that there is no justice in France. First of all, no one citizen should be stealing and secondly, no one should be punished for trying to feed their families. Not only was Valjean punished, but we can also see that Valjean lives hidden for a large amount of his life because of Javert. Javert is an officer from the galleys which hates Valjean. He takes his job very seriously and believes that once a criminal, always a criminal. He makes Valjeans life miserable being that he is always looking for him to send him to prison.

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