Loving Sacrifices Illustrated in Victor Hugo’s Novel, Les Misérables

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Some people will do anything for those they love, no matter what the cost. In literature, this act of sacrifice is often exaggerated and glorified. Almost every novel contains some example of sacrifice, a giving up of something dear and precious without thought of material repayment. Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables, is no exception. It is, in fact, full to overflowing of sacrifice between its different characters. Two such characters are Eponine and Jean Valjean, who each sacrifice an extraordinary amount to other characters. Eponine gave up just about everything she had, except the clothes on her back. One of Eponine’s major sacrifices was that of her slim chance of being loved by Marius, by giving him Cosette’s address. There was…show more content…
She knew that there were people in his life that he did love and care for. The only thing that Eponine wanted was for Marius to be happy, something that she believed he could not be with her around, yet she could not survive away from him. By dying, she gave him up to the people he loved. Eponine sacrificed her happiness, the love of her life, and, ultimately, her life. Jean Valjean sacrificed much as he sought redemption. One of the first sacrifices that Jean Valjean makes is that of his identity, during the Champmathieu affair. As Monsieur Madeleine, Jean Valjean was a trusted official in a high position. He struggled with himself when he heard that the ‘real’ Jean Valjean had been caught: should he stay in M—sur m—where he was comfortable and popular, or do the right thing, remove a man from an undeserved galley life, and become a convict once more. When Madeleine revealed himself as Jean Valjean, he forever gave up that comfortable position of authority. He became a convict again – a wanted convict. He would now live out the rest of his life hiding, of not running, from the police. Jean sacrificed his safety. Saving Marius’ life by carrying him through the sewers also proved to be a sacrifice. Jean’s entire existence revolved around Cosette. She was what kept him on the track the bishop set him on. He adored her. He was devastated to learn that she was in love with Marius, yet he saved

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