Les Miserables: Is Jean Valjean Selfish?

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Is Jean Valjean selfish? Some people who read Les Miserables, written by Victor Hugo, might see Jean Valjean as a selfish character. Why? Because they think he is doing everything to make sure that Cosette is staying with him forever. They also think that he is a selfish person because he is not letting Cosette explore everything that life has to offer. When thinking about their situation a little bit more, you can come to a realization that he is not selfish at all. He thinks he I doing the best he can for Cosette, even though it sometimes seems that he does not really think about her. Several times in the roman Valjean has to take decisions having influences on Cosette life, one of them is when he decides to leave the convent. He used…show more content…
In our opinion this is a selfless action to provide safety for him and Cosette. During the time that he wants to move to England, a few things happened. Someone had scratched an address on the wall, Jean Valjean did not know that Marius was the one doing it and thought someone had violated his garden. ‘’At all events, it was evident that the garden had been violated, and that some persons unknown had penetrated into it.’’ (Hugo 273) As you can read in the quote, Jean Valjean just thought it was an unknown person and he also was not aware of Cosette talking with Marius during this time. Jean Valjean probably thought that someone saw them as a target for something or that Javert knew where he was, and if Javert would catch him, he would not be able to provide safety for Cosette anymore. Another event, happening during this time, was Jean Valjean receiving a note with the words REMOVE on it. ‘’He was about to turn around, when a folded paper fell upon his knees, as if a hand had dropped it from above his head. He took the paper, unfolded it, and read on it this word, written in large letters with a pencil: REMOVE.’’ (Hugo 273) Of course, he thought that someone was trying to warn him about some kind of danger, there was not another reason why someone would give him a note with such a warning on it. This happened shortly after the address was scratched upon the wall, and therefore Jean Valjean
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