Some people don’t like reading old dusty classic books. Some people don’t like reading very long books. Well, the book “Les Miserables” is both of these things and still I would recommend you to read it. The book follows (admittedly with some detours) the life of Jean Valjean. A man who was convicted to galley “service” for stealing a loaf of bread.
After finishing his sentence and being out on parole he realizes bitterly, that even though he served his sentence for society he always will be convicted. The book follows him on his journey through the Paris and France of the beginning of the 19th century as he tries to turn his life towards the good.
This search for good plays out over more than one thousand pages. The author deliberately decides to leave the main storyline several times in such a way that the book becomes more like a long walk in a park than a thrilling rollercoaster ride, a phenomenon that lacks in many of the modern day novels. He slows down the pace of everyday life and reveals that even though the book was written more than 150 years ago many of aspects are still true today. Victour Hugos book “Les Miserables” has been called the conscience of the 19th century. And he can also be called the conscience of the 21th century for that matter. In his work he shows, that there is a higher moral than the social standards and laws of the moment. Good and bad can not always be rightfully decided in front of a court. And how judgment can be true for eternity.
Maybe we should take this point of view on some of the things that happen in today’s day and age… How will our, nowadays ‘accepted’ and ‘right’ actions, be judged upon in 150 years when our self centered reasons no longer matter and the only thing that is remembered are the consequences of our actions.