Les Miserables Essay

Submitted By JohnAlick1
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Pages: 3

John Morrison ­ Reading Response to Les Mis ­ Visual text Les Miserables is, without a doubt, one of my favourite musicals. The way that Victor
Hugo (the original author) has shown the themes of corruption as well as grace is phenomenal. These ideas translated to the big screen very well and the actors’ voices add a lot of emotion to the plot. I can see corruption everywhere in society. Some places more than others, but it is something that humanity has always had all throughout history. People are still going through unjust court sessions and are still being sentenced for long periods of time for such petty crimes.
Prior to the beginning of the film, Jean Valjean was sentenced to 19 years of jail time for stealing bread to feed his nephew. If that wasn’t bad enough, after he gets released,
Valjean is placed on one of the most strictest paroles for his whole life. This led him to the impossibility of working for anyone, no matter how hard he tried. Valjean spent most of his life on the run from the law, personified by his former prison, Javert. Javert’s corrupt and short sighted way of thinking often gets in the way of his sense of morality. He is the perfect representation of the corrupt law. Throughout the entire film he only sees the bad actions over the good in people, especially Valjean. When he meets Valjean once again, he tells him, “Men like you can never change. A man such as you.” This quote shows how much Javert’s judgements can be clouded by his own corruption. He didn’t believe that Valjean should be a free man that could live in peace.
This made me quite angry at the character of Javert because in all fairness, Valjean had spent his time and made a new life for himself. But Javert always kept pulling him back to his old life. In another part of the film, the revolters of the June Rebellion were standing against the
French soldiers. One of the revolters was a young child named Gavroche. During a stalemate, Gavroche went to the front line to collect extra ammo. As soon as he had grabbed the bullets, the soldiers had killed the boy. The amount of corruption it takes to kill young child must be really high. This moment really emphasises how corrupt the authorities of France were during the French Revolution and honestly, not much has changed in the 21st century. Countless adolescents are killed by authorities every year.
It disgusts me that people are still like this. Grace is another central theme in Les Miserables that contrasts the corruption seen in the film. After leaving jail, Jean Valjean…