Jean Valjean was an alluring hero of Les Miserables for many reasons, one of which was his drastic conversion from a miserable criminal into a heroic, peaceful man. Jean Valjean seems like a three-dimensional character at first. But deep inside his emotions, he shows a defined viewpoint on life making him a flat character.

One of the most compassionate things he did was guarding Cossette and treating her as if she were his own daughter. He is the main character; therefore there would essentially be no plot without him. His several journeys span across a length of twenty years. He is an extremely strong man. Sometimes his strength was a burden put upon him. His charisma and superhuman qualities make his character a figment of romanticism.

Valjean was born a decent human being. Unfortunately, he was born into poverty, which forced him to steal in order to survive. After getting caught stealing a loaf of bread he was imprisoned. A few years later he is caught after escaping, he is then sent to the galleys for 19 years.

He later escapes from there to go to a town where he was not wanted. Still a criminal he steals some silverware from a kind priest who gave him shelter. When caught, the police ask the priest if Jean stole the silverware. To everyone’s surprise the priest said it was a gift this started his conversion toward a good life.

After this, he tried to live a peaceful life. He started a new factory in a new town employing several. Then a man in a city nearby was arrested under the name Jean Valjean. Jean was faced with a tough choice. Rather than letting the other man take the wrap for him, he chose to admit his identity to save the innocent man.

Later, he rescued Cossette from her harsh life with the Thenardiers. He acted as her father while she grew up. Throughout these years. Jean was faced with obstacles that made him choose between right and wrong. He always chose the right path. From this Jean expressed that he only saw right and wrong, black and white, which made him two dimensional.

His life was lead one way, his personality proved to respond one way, and his relevance to the story was set out in one way. This way was the way that things were done justly in his mind. His relevance to the entire structure of the story set aside from being the main character was crucial. He was portrayed as both the hero and the miserable.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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