Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. What are the factors leading to Fantine’s decline?
2. To what extent does the description of Myriel’s background at the beginning of Les Misérables introduce us to the central themes of the novel?
3. What are the central conflicts that lead Marius to leave Gillenormand’s house? How does he resolve them?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Discuss the role that family allegiance plays in the lives of Cosette, Marius, and Gavroche.
2. How do you account for Eponine’s selflessness? Is it significant that one of Hugo’s most noble characters is a member of the Thénardier family?
3. Discuss Hugo’s treatment of the Industrial Revolution. Is there any one place or city that best represents the pros and cons of industry?
4. What ultimately drives Javert to suicide?
5. How do Hugo’s descriptions of Paris relate to the central themes of the novel?
6. Discuss the ways in which Valjean both helps and hinders Cosette as she becomes an adult.
by kiiiiid, January 30, 2013
and gavroche dies and the rest of france build a barricade and end the french revolution
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by Adi31415, March 28, 2013
Les Miserables is based around the turning point in French history, and it explores the nature of this change in terms of society, and uses this as a basis for explaining the revolution. It explains how the ‘miserables’, or ‘victims’, damned into a life of thievery and being the scum of the Earth aren’t inherently bad. The society which has not given them a chance forces them to be bad, or do bad things. Instead of understanding their inner goodness and their plight to change their ways, or giving them some kindness or hope, they a... Read more→
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