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Luis Lobos
Dr. Griffin
English 12

31 January 2014
Dialectical Journal for Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
FANTINE: The fall
Quote and Page # Paraphrase Analysis
“So long as there shall exist, by
reason of law and custom, a social
condemnation, which, in the face of
civilization, artificially creates
hells on earth, and complicates a
destiny that is divine, with human
fatality; so long as the three
problems of the age-the
degradation of man by poverty, the
ruin of woman by starvation, and
the dwarfing of childhood by
physical and spiritual night-are not
solved; so long as, in certain
regions, social asphyxia shall be
possible; in other words, and from
a yet more extended point of view,
so long as ignorance and misery
remain on earth, books like this
cannot be useless.”(Hugo xi)
Condemnation: The expression of
very strong disapproval.
Degradation: Act or process of
damaging or ruining something.
Asphyxia: Condition of severely
deficient supply of oxygen to the
As long as people are disapproval
of because of the laws and customs
which is seen in society that creates
man-made hell on earth and messes
up a destiny that should be pure
and make God happy with one that
ends with our deaths. So long are
three problems in the world: the
ruin of men through poverty, the
damaging of women by not
providing for them, the shrinking of
innocence, laughter, creativity
dreams, play, hope, forgiveness. So
long as the destruction of society
by depriving the basic needs of its
The world is full of crime and evil
cruelties. Humanity can be wicked
and deceitful. The laws created by
men tend to be cruel and harsh, in
comparison to the divine law. God
tends to be more lenient, full of
love and pours forgiveness to all of
his creation. Man-made laws
punish people up to a certain point,
more than what God would do.
This novel reveals the true factions
of classes and groups in the planet.
There are many atrocities that
occur every day in our world.
These events should not be
appreciated, but they happen very
“For nineteen years I have had a
wooden mattress,” ‘said the man;
tonight I have a stone one’ (Hugo
Jean Valjean has been in jail for 19
years and has slept on a wood
mattress for the whole time.
This shows that Jean Valjean has
endured sufferings. He went to jail
for cruel purposes. It is evident that
he needed the bread for survival.
His family was in need of food
more than shelter. His crime
brought dissatisfaction to his life.
Jean spent 19 years in jail. It wasn’t
his original verdict, but he spent
those long years for trying to
escape various times.
“It is your soul that I am buying for
you” (Hugo 33).
The bishop has saved Jean
Valgean’s life. He wants Jean to
Jean Valjean was caught running
away and stealing the silver. The
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change as a something in return for
his favor.
silver belonged to the bishop. The
authorities found him and brought
him back to the bishop. It turned
out that the bishop lied to the
authorities and exemplified Jean
Valjean’s point of view. The reason
that the bishop lied was for the
good of humanity. In my personal
opinion, I believe that the bishop
wanted to change Jean’s heart and
soul. It was more than a necessity,
it was the best thing that the bishop
did to help Jean. This way, Jean
was entitled to change, by
effectuating good deeds and
helping himself rather than

Summary: Jean Valjean enters the town of D after spending nineteen years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread.
No one in D will take him in because he has a yellow ticket of leave that says that he is a dangerous criminal.
He is sent to the church and the Bishop takes him in, feeds him, and gives him a fire to sit by and a place to live.
That night, he considers killing the bishop but instead steals the bishop’s silver. He is caught by the gendarmes
and brought back to the bishop. The bishop defends Jean Valjean and gives him two candle sticks. Jean Valjean
takes petite Gervais’s piece. Jean feels guilty and unsuccessfully tries to return.

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In this point of the story Fantine has lost many possessions in her life. She has no formal education to back her
up in any employment. She is determined to work hard for the well-being of her daughter and strive to give her
a better life. After meeting the Thernadier’s, she realizes that there is a connection between her daughter and
theirs. This is simply a dream or can also be called a desire. Neither will this family take good care of her nor
will they serve as a source of inspiration and satisfaction to Cossette.

To Entrust is Sometimes To Abandon

“These words were the spark
which the other mother was
probably awaiting” (Hugo 43).
The words of the other mother
were the sign that she had been
waiting for.
Many things were happening in
Fantine’s life. She had no money
and no way to support her child.
After arriving into the city, Fantine
found the home of the
Thernadiers. They acted normal
and they loved Fantine’s daughter.
At this special moment, Fantine
realized that it was time to leave
her daughter to work i9n the

“These words were the spark
which the other mother was
awaiting” (Hugo 43).
This was the moment that the
mom expected to arrive. She heard
the words that gave her a sign to
act upon.
Fantine needed someone to take
care of her daughter Cosette. She
had no money and her only
solution was to work hard and pay
the family. At this same moment
she realized that the other mother
offered to take care of her and
promised to treat her well. At least
it sparked some confidence in
Fantine’s eyes.
“They belonged to the bastard
class form of low people who have
risen, and intelligent people who
have fallen, which lies between the
classes called middle and lower,
and which unites some of the
faults of the latter with nearly all
the vices of the former, without
possessing the generous impulses
of the workman, or the
respectability of the bourgeois.”
(Hugo 45)

They belonged to the worst class
from the poor who have ascended,
and smart people that have fallen,
which lies between the rich and
the poor, which consists of the
rude but act like the rich, without
having a proper education, nor
wanting to work hard in life.
At this moment in human history,
social classes dominated society,
similar to what they are now. The
bastard class was those of the
middle class. They were not poor
nor did they have vast amount of
wealth. They had capital to sustain
them but lacked an education.
They were rude and inconsistent
and had no royal attire as well.
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The Decent
“What had become of this mother,
in the meantime, who, according
to the people of Montfermiel,
seemed to have abandoned her
child?” Where was she? What was
she doing? (Hugo 48)
Who was this mother, what has
she become, that according to the
people of this town, she seemed to
have left her daughter behind?
What was she doing? Where
would she go? Would she be in
There was a desperate mom that
needed a lot of money. She left her
daughter behind for a very
important reason. I don’t think it
was because she wanted to leave
her behind, but because she
couldn’t take the girl with her. The
mom had to work somewhere to
provide for the food of the
daughter. The mother had no home
and no place to reside and the only
solution was to give her away to a
family that vowed to take good
care of her.
“Father Madeline employed
everybody, ha had only on
condition, ‘Be an honest man!’
‘Be an honest women!’’ (Hugo 50)
Father Madeline gave jobs to
everyone. He had no exceptions,
but he did have one condition. The
condition was to become an honest
man and women in society.
Father Madeline was wealthy and
prospered. He had become a better
person because of the bishop that
taught him to do so. He hired
employees and gave them an
opportunity to make a wage for
their households. His only desire
was to change one life. He wanted
to teach his employees to be
different and to give back to their
communities. Good citizens make
up a better town and a better

Fantine left her daughter with the Thernadiers, so that they could teach her values. It turns out that many
people criticized her for her actions. They asked the question as for where she was headed or where she was
going to be. As that was occurring, Father Madeline a wealthy man in the community, perhaps the mayor to be
called, handed out jobs to many workers? His desire was simple yet it was big for him. He didn’t want money in
return, but he did want honesty. He wanted every man and women to give back by being good citizens. He was
indeed a great man. He was educated or at least loved to read books in the town. The poor owed him everything,
but the bishop that had helped him change, deceased.

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“Then he bowed profoundly and
went towards the door” (Hugo 70).
He bowed to the people in such a
great way and excused himself by
leaving, thus going to the front
As mayor of M-M, he wanted
social order and justice in his
community. Many saw the flaws
that he carried. He simply was
reverent and went out the door. A
situation had earlier been present
between Javert and Monsieur
Madeline. He was wise, not only
because of his image in the town,
but because it was his personality.
Javert wanted to be dismissed, but
he didn’t find his treason as a
mistake. He found it rather amusing
and was content.

In the Town of M-M, someone suspected that Monsieur Madeline was an ex-convict. His name was Javert. He
denounced the mayor to the authorities or police in Paris. After the incident, Javert asked to be dismissed from
his position or head of the police department. Monsieur Madeline laughed like he had never done before.
Monsieur Madeline was too kind and pardons the fellow. Javert couldn’t understand why the mayor had been
kind to do so. This shows the sincerity of Monsieur Madeline and his desire to help others.

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The Champ Mathieu: Affair
“It was more than a
transformation- it was a
configuration” (Hugo 72).
It was more than a simple change,
it was a complete rejuvenation in
the sense that everything was
cleansed from the toes and through
the soul.
Most people expected that Jean
Valjean would live a life full of
misery. He was an ex-convict and
he had been in jail. He was at the
bottom of society. Most
individuals were discouraged if
their actions had spoken above
their words. Jean changed a lot. He
kept his promise to become an
honest man. He was full of piety,
intelligence, and his heart was
filled with inner love.
Throughout this small section Jean Valjean shows his graceful side. He is a different man compared to
the person he was at the beginning of the book. There is also a prosecution going on. The judges will prosecute
a criminal. Monsieur Madeleine interrupts the case to declare the man innocent. He goes back to his chamber
and Jean is not arrested. Jean could not bear to see the man being prosecuted for what he had done. He told the
truth about everything.

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“The eyes of Fantine beamed with
joy, and lighted up her whole
countenance” (Hugo 98).
The eyes of Fantine being happy,
were filled with joy, they brought
about a whole transformation in her
Fantine was sick in bed and needed
more comfort. She wanted to see
her daughter for one last time. Jean
promised to get Cosette from the
cruel Thernadier’s. Jean also lied to
Fantine because he couldn’t get her
daughter. He confessed about his
true personality and needed more
At this point in the book, Jean Valjean has confessed about his true personality. He reveals that he lied
about everything. This ruins the mayor because he will no longer support the people. All the families that have
been given jobs by Jean, will basically have to deal with the cruelties in society. Fantine lost her job and had to
face reality. She sold her teeth and dignity to get money faster. The money was sent to her daughter. She
suffered and was picked up by Jean. Jean is about to get arrested, poor Fantine.

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Cossette: The Ship Orion
“Suddenly, the throng uttered a
thrilling outcry: the convict had
fallen into the sea” (Hugo 117).
Out of the sudden, a loud noise was
heard and the criminal fell into the
I personally feel that this was a
good moment. No matter how
many times Jean gets arrested, he
needs to get out. This way, Jean
will be able to help many other
people that are in need. It wasn’t a
surprise, Jean has to escape.

At this moment in the story, Jean was carried in a boat. He was not a passenger, he was a convict. No
more wealth and he wasn’t a major anymore. There was a loud sound in the background. Everyone heard the
noise, Jean fell out of the ship into the sea. Four man had gone in search of him in a smaller boat. He didn’t rise
from the sea for a while and he was a convict.

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Fulfillment of The Promise To the Departed
“There, as he did not lack for
money, he could procure clothes”
(Hugo 118).
Since he had money, he could buy
more clothes.
Jean still had some money. This
was more than a blessing because
he had plenty to buy more clothes.
He wasn’t unfortunate like he once
was. He didn’t need in regards to
capital. He needed more luck to
find people just like him. He
needed to find a stable place of
residence where he could live in
peace. Cosstte was under his
control and he enjoyed that
company. I wish that he was more
blessed in his weaker areas. Good
people like him need a second
chance. Sometimes the rulers are
more of a criminal mindset than the
actual criminals in society.

He didn’t lack money to buy himself clothing. Jean enjoyed the company of Cossette. He was to keep his
promise like he had once desired. Society had marked him. The best thing about him was that he didn’t let
society change him. He was the difference that the world needed. He had a kind heart and God had truly
changed his soul. Why did he tried to feel guilty? I don’t know. Why did the still keep chasing him? The
simplest answer is that the evils in this world will try to bring you down even when you have decided to be
different. Life is not easy because most of the time, life is not fair.

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The Old Gorbeau House
“Something new was entering his
soul” (Hugo 123.)
A different feeling was filling the
empty space in his soul. Perhaps it
was love that made him happier.
Love was making him feel happy.
This new feeling was bringing joy
to his soul and spirit. This was
important to him because he passed
through so many obstacles. It was
Cossette. She made him joyful
because no one ever looked up to
him in that certain way.
After passing through so many hard terrains, he began to relax. He relaxed in a certain manner that made
people in his surroundings feel blessed. Cossette made him feel different. It was his spirit and soul that made
him more powerful. Harsh events had stricken his life and he wasn’t going to give up now. He needed
confidence in himself and determination to succeed. As sad as this novel is becoming, the more I think about
life. Everything is about reality and truth. It is interesting, it is amazing, and it is in Les Miserable.

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A Dark Chase Needs a Silent Hound
“Time was passing. He must act
quickly” (Hugo 133).
Time was passing in a fast pace. He
must make a decision as soon as
It was a crucial moment. He was
running away with Cosette and it
was very cold outside. He had to
act quickly and make sure that no
one saw him. This makes me feel
like I’m in a movie session. It is
like an action movie that keeps
going and going. I’m amazed at all
the things that Jean is effectuating
to make sure that Cosette’s life is
In this section, Jean Valjean is running away with Cosette. It is a crucial moment and he is working hard
to make sure they are both alright. They had an apartment, but Javert has found them. Jean heard the noises and
footsteps along the corridor of the apartment floor. After finding out of such news, he decides to run away. At a
certain moment, Cosette is cold and she is outside for a very long period of time.

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Cemeteries Take What is Given Them:
“The prioress having uttered this
prediction immediately took cosset
into her friendship and gave her a
place in the school building as a
charity pupil” (Hugo 147).
The good ladies having seen
Cosette, took her into their convent
and gave her great friendship. They
were very nice people.
After all the pain and suffering,
Cosette found a home. Great angels
sent from heaven gave her a refuge.
They were very nice people and
gave a space to Cosette as a sister
in Christ. I think that she definitely
deserved this moment. Liked
mentioned before, they had gone a
long way to finding the convent.
There was peace and tranquility, at
least for some time.

After running away for quite some time, they found a convent. It was a secure place with four large and
protective walls. It was like being in a prison once again. Only this time, they were safe and secure. They had a
little more time to prepare in case of any other upsets in life. I’m truly happy that they found a residence where
they could finally rest. In the convent they enjoyed many freedoms and some opportunities to be part of
something important. They became part of a team.

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Marius: The grand Bourgeois
“Age had only increased this
pitiless modesty” (Hugo 154).


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Grandfather and the Grandson:
“The square of the earth which he
called his garden was celebrated in
the town for the beauty of the
flowers which he cultivated in it”
(Hugo 158).


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The excellence of Misfortune:
“In all his trials he felt encouraged
and sometimes even up borne by a
secrete force within”(Hugo 184).


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The Conjunction of Two Stars:
“At night, on returning to his
garret, Marius cast a look upon his
dress, and for the first time
perceived that he had the
slovenliness, the indecency, and the
unheard-of stupidity, to promenade
in the Luxembourg with his
‘everyday’ suit, a hat broken near
the band, course teamsters’ boots,
black pantaloons shiny at the knees,
and a black coat threadbare at the
elbows.” (Hugo 192)


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The Noxious Poor:
“The mist from without entered and
spread about like a Whitish
wadding picked apart by invisible
fingers” (Hugo 209).


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Saint Denis and Idyle of The Rue Plumet: Eponine
“I have the address” (Hugo 240). Eponine has the address that
Marious wants. He definitely wants
to find cosset at whatever means
This part of the story is amazing. I
feel that true love does exist.
Marious loves Cosset, but he
doesn’t love Eponine. This is kind
of sad because she really loves him.
Eponine is giving up her own
desires to satisfy him. She is
willing to take him to cosset’s
house in order to see him happy.
Summary: Marius is obsessed with