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Free Study Guide-Les Miserables by Victor Hugo-Free Book Notes Summary
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CONFLICT

The novel contains multiple conflicts and subplots. The major conflict threaded through the book is between Valjean and Javert. Valjean has served his time and earned release from prison, but it is release with a yellow passport-meaning everywhere he goes, everyone from employers to landlords will know that he is an ex-con. This makes him suspect even when he is innocent of any wrong doing. Javert sees the law as an answer for everything, and no exception should be made regardless of how small the crime.


The situation is complicated when Valjean takes upon himself the care of Cosette, as he feels responsible for the death of her mother. With Cosette, Valjean learns to love and the bitterness of the years of injustice melt away. He thinks of himself as a convict and makes no excuses; his only reason for hiding and avoiding Javert is to protect Cosette and his fatherly relationship with her.

Additional minor conflicts occur between Marius and his Grandfather, between Marius and Valjean, and between Valjean and Thenardier.

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Free Study Guide-Les Miserables by Victor Hugo-Free Online BookNotes
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