As the nucleus of Les Misérables, the story of Jean Valjean has dominated many abridged versions of the novel as well as most film renditions. To exclude the historical commentaries; of the digressions on argot, religious faith, and the sewers; or passages concerning Cosette’s early enslavement by the Thénardiers, Marius’s penurious circumstances, and the band of young revolutionaries who die on the barricades is to rip the hero’s moral struggles out of the context that gives them meaning. It is to transform Les Misérables into something like Le Misérable, to reduce a vast fresco of individual and collective destinies into the relatively trite tale of an ex-convict on the run. Hugo’s poetic imagination ceaselessly weaves analogies between Jean Valjean’s spiritual progress and humanity’s striving toward freedom, harmony, and social justice. What we lose, then, through external abridgment or our own impatience to get on with “the story” is the highly uncommon interconnectedness of the whole. Les Misérables did not originally strike critics as dangerous because of its outlaw protagonist, nor was it initially banned by the Vatican for its plot. Even today, it continues to press for radical social reform, for national and international concord, by appealing for direct popular action that would bypass established institutions.
There is nothing on Earth that we share
It is either E/R or Valvert
Twenty times he had been tempted to throw himself upon Jean Valjean, to seize him and to devour him, that is to say, arrest him.
— victor hugo pulling the fastest NO HOMO i have ever seen (via fungii