Throughout history, authors have used literature to make social changes in their societies. Charles Dickens, a social activist used the characters and themes in A Tale of Two Cities to promote social reform. The novel takes place during the French Revolution in which chaos and bloodshed was prevalent. Victor Hugo, the author of Les Miserables and uses his platform to reach an audience that will use its themes to change the quality of living in France by its setting shortly after the Revolution during a time of government abuse. Within the creation of these themes and messages, the character Cosette from Les Miserables and Lucie Manette from A Tale of Two Cities are placed in similar circumstances and are crucial to the overall plot of their stories. Both Cosette and Lucie prove that true goodness can prevail in the depths of a cruel world and provide hope to their loved ones.
Cosette and Lucie symbolize innocence and are protected and shielded from the dark circumstances around them. Jean ValJean, the father figure of Cosette, used to live a life of crime. He has kept it a secret as he states, “It 's for Cosette this must be faced. If [I am]caught she is disgraced” (ValJean’s Confession). He hides his true identity to protect Cosette, so that he doesn’t cause her any pain or bring her shame. He does this so that Cosette’s love for him will not diminish; she is sheltered from the sin and darkness in the world that could easily corrupt her. If she were not protected, her