Racism And Stereotypes In Les Miserables By Victor Hugo

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In Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, Hugo demonstrates that we label people harshly, and that in there is a lot more to a person than just their looks. Les Miserables opens up with Jean Valjean, described as “an ill-favored runaway, a suspicious vagabond” (Hugo 13). Once the people of the town notice Valjean, they immediately assume that “unpleasant adventures might befall those who should come home late that night” (13). The townspeople have all made a collective incorrect snap judgement based on Valjean’s looks and the state of his clothing. However, not only does Valjean save a woman that he has just met, he also agrees to take care of her daughter, Cosette, and dedicates the majority of his life to helping Cosette. Not only does he provide to Cosette with material kindness, such as a “fabulous doll” (169), and a “little woolen frock, an apron, a coarse…show more content…
Today, snap judgements that are based on a person’s skin color are made, in the form of racism. In the past 70 years, major improvements have been made upon curving racism, but it is still a problem in the world. Some people have labeled the current president of the United States, President Trump, as a successful businessman, and they use this judgement to justify their faith in him. Yet others label him as a racist bigot, and use this label to justify their protests against his jurisdiction over the United States. It has been over a century since Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables, yet the problems that Hugo addresses still exist, albeit in a different form. Hugo addresses an issue that is still painfully relevant to modern society: labeling, or rather mislabeling. Hugo points out that looks and the type of clothes a person wears shouldn’t be used to judge a person, and that we should always look for the truth, and not just what we want to see in our ideal person. Therefore, Les Miserables addresses labeling people harshly and the issues that it

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