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Andrin, Rhea Mae S.

Art Appreciation

BS Accountancy I

October 09, 2013

Les Misrables
25th Anniversary Production


Misrables of Victor Hugos Les Misrables means poor wretches. The novel offers
numerous casts that suffered from discrimination and degradation, including the
protagonist himself. It also shows the unpleasant side of Paris as well as the Revolution.
This is a critical statement against human agony, poverty, and ignorance.


Jean Valjean, the chief protagonist, an ex-convict who struggled to redeem himself
morally and for the society that had rejected him because of being a criminal to accept
him. He had been at large for nineteen years because of stealing bread for his sisters
Javert, the primary antagonist, represents a corrective and unforgiving form of justice;
wanting to arrest Valjean after he had received his parole for an official punishment.
Charles Myriel, Bishop of Digne, let Valjean to stay in his place. However, in contrast of
the bishops kindness, the ex-con still tried to steal silverware yet caught. Myriel had
protected him from being arrested (again) by saying to the police that the silver was
actually a gift. He gave silver candlesticks to Valjean symbolizing of passing the light of
love and compassion; buying his life(soul) to God.
Fantine, a beautiful grisette, worked in Valjeans factory. She had a lover yet abandoned
her with a child who is in the keeping of others for she needed to look for a job. A
foreman dismissed her as he found out that she was an unwed mother. To be able to pay
her debts to her daughters guardians, she sold her hair, front teeth(film) and herself. For
attacking a man who wanted her service, Javert arrested her but Valjean, who was in his
sorry, helped her. He sent her to a hospital while suffering from Tuberculosis and
retrieved her daughter for her.
Cosette, lovely child of Fantine, had been retrieved by Valjean with 1500 francs from her
coarse and corrupt guardians. Valjean treated her as her own daughter and let her
educated in a convent. She fell in love with a young law-student boy. She had been said to
be the symbol of hope and light for the oppressed and abused.
Marius Pontmercy, lover of Cosette, had been a loyal revolutionist of ABC. At first,
Valjean didnt agree about his affair with Cosette but in latter part, Valjean helped him in
the sewer and once had recovered; let him to marry the lady. He was also the one whom
Valjean confessed to.


This is a tale of Jean Valjean who had encounters with the Bishop Myriel, Fantine,
Cosette and Marius through his life out of jail. It showed how a full-of-anger ex-con can
be changed and changed not only for his sake but also for others. It also covers the
1832 Revolution, the horrid France; and states for humane treatment of the poor and
equity among its citizens.



With the language of prose and music, it brought the audience to a different style of
presentation away from the usual such with motion pictures. Simple words were used yet
never left the poetic touch to show how historical it is and the setting of the story.
However, it had been revised with modernized spectacles(like lights presentation and
fresh music arrangements) to please young generations to appreciate the play.



The most important theme of the play is the change and transformation, in the individual
and in the society, especially of Valjean himself. He learnt once more how to become
selfless after he had been imprisoned for a long time.
Love and compassion towards others may not only amend oneself but of others also. This
was exhibited as the workers and students on the barricade fought as one for the social
transformation to have a new France that is going to live by later generations-free from
injustice and poverty.



I saw the story in resemblance to Rizals Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo with
regards to the plot(self and social conflicts) and theme (though the character Ibarra
transformed into a vengeful one from being freedom-lover, opposite with Valjean)
therefore made me to easily appreciate this.
I love to watch Filipino plays since I was in elementary. This was my first English
concert-play Id watched and admitting that I enjoyed it. I love contemporary literature
thus, made me uninterested about this work of Victor Hugo. I thought Im going to be
bored but Im not. While doing this review, research had been done and Les Misrables
continually catches my attention. Now, Im looking forward on reading the novel
sometime not only to understand the story in-detail but also to open up my passion in
literary for those timeless novels.
Hugo really deserved a huge bow as what Pepe received from me for his works.

(Credits: Microsoft Student 2009 DVD;;