Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Crime, Thief, Prison, Literature, Social Issues, Authority, Criminal Justice, Love

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/15

Is Jean Valjean in Les Miserables a thief? The captivating Les Miserables movie was taken from the work of Victor Hugo; the title was also named after the novel that saw its first publication in 1862. The story revolved around the protagonist name Jean Valjean who was made to suffer nineteen years of imprisonment for the offense of stealing bread for his sister’s son. While the story initially presented Valjean as a thief, he is actually a good man as later depicted in many of his good acts within the story.
The main protagonist was portrayed in the beginning of the story as thief. First, he was caught by the authorities due to the crime of stealing bread for his nephew. He would later suffer the consequence of his act by imprisonment that all add up to nineteen years due to several attempts to escape. After his release from prison as a parolee, he was alone in the outside world as he was met with unwelcoming attitude from others. This prompted him to knock at the door of Bishop Myriel who welcomed him unconditionally. Despite the kindness shown by the Bishop, Valjean was tempted to steal the silverwares and even knock the Bishop out of consciousness in his want to escape with his loot. The act of Valjean of stealing even from the only person who gave him shelter makes him a thief and one of the worst for that matter. One can however justify his acts of thievery by looking at the circumstances that prompted him to do so. First, his attempt to steal bread nineteen years before was an act of love and kindness as it pains one to see a love one suffer from deprivation of even the basic needs. On the other hand, the protagonist must have
thought that getting his hands on the valuable silver wares of the Bishop will answer for his needs while he was unable to land a job due to being an outcast. In addition to that are the poverty and many years of imprisonment that made him vulnerable to temptation that lead to his decision to steal. It is therefore his present circumstances that prompted him to do the crime, and not for the reason that thievery is rooted in his personhood.
The other reason why Valjean was not a thief was immediate realization of his fault after the Bishop covered up for his crime when caught by the authorities. As the Bishop said, “You no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul I am buying for you. I withdraw it from the dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!” The words of the Bishop gave Valjean the needed awakening call that made him change from being the convict fresh from prison into a person who is willing to show compassion and love for others. One of his acts of compassion was of rescuing Cossette from the family that maltreated her and treating her as his own daughter.
One more reason to cite why Valjean was not a thief was in submitting himself to the authorities after someone was mistakenly taken by the authorities to be Jean Valjean. It is one of the most thievery acts he can do, to hide within the personality that he is currently known while someone was mistakenly paying for his crime. He decided to go to the trial to identify himself and free the person who was mistaken to be him. He was indeed a good man by heart, someone who cannot stand the thought of one suffering for his crimes.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 15) Les Miserables Essay Samples. Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/
"Les Miserables Essay Samples." WePapers, 15 Nov. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/. Accessed 06 March 2021.
WePapers. 2020. Les Miserables Essay Samples., viewed March 06 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/>
WePapers. Les Miserables Essay Samples. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed March 06, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/
"Les Miserables Essay Samples." WePapers, Nov 15, 2020. Accessed March 06, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/
WePapers. 2020. "Les Miserables Essay Samples." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved March 06, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/).
"Les Miserables Essay Samples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 15-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/. [Accessed: 06-Mar-2021].
Les Miserables Essay Samples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/les-miserables-essay-samples/. Published Nov 15, 2020. Accessed March 06, 2021.

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