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Love’s Power in Les Miserables       Humans are difficult creatures to handle and understand. Their emotions at times seem unjust and peculiar. As a result, they become reckless and potentially become corrupt. However,  in the case that, if people become wicked, there is always a chance for them to be redeemed. Love is a universal emotion that every human expresses, and it can make people act crazy. The love can change from person to person, and love could be a bond that is between lovers, between friends,  between families, or as neighbors. Love, being universal among people, makes it a topic that many literary novels express, such as the novel is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. In the literary work, the protagonist, Jean Valjean, struggles to find redemption for himself and throughout the second volume. In the book, he starts becoming redeemed through the child he adopts, Cosette. The bond that both Jean Valjean and Cosette shared between one another gives rise to the redemption that Valjean was able to receive, this made love a strong reason for people to be saved through their past no matter how black-hearted their life was.  During Tthe time period of Les Miserables it is set during the French Revolution, an era that was very difficult for the people in France. The system in France was unjust, and the people had to deal with their taxes and see the population become poorer. On the webpage, French Revolution in Hhistory mentions how France led to being bankrupt: “As the 18th century drew to a close, France’s costly involvement in the American Revolution and extravagant spending by King Louis XVI (1754-1793) and his and his predecessor had left the county on the brink of bankruptcy” ( This led to break people down and led them too hard times in this era. The people of France struggled to find a way to support themselves. Over 17,000 french people that were involved in the taxes they ended up in the execution of the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.In Volume Ivolume one, Hugoit talks about how Fantine is a woman who is working in a factory that had poor-working conditions. Fantine was doing everything that she could to get the money that she neededneeds to send to the Thenardiers for Cosette, her daughter, who was living with the family. Fantine did everything for her daughter that she was yet to meet. Soon after her decisions to cut her hair, take her teeth out, and become a prostitute, Fantine ended up dying in a hospital bed. When we meet Cosette again in the Volume II,second volume she is only eight years old. She had met Jean Valjean in the woods while she was getting a pail of water. Later Jean Valjean sees how the Thenardiers treated Cosette and was willing to pay a certain amount of money for the Thenardiers to let Cosette go with him:. “Jean Valjean bent down and kissed the child’s hand. Nine months before, he had kissed the hand of the mother, who also just fallen asleep” (181). Valjean not only redeemed himself but also Fantine by raising Cosette and bringing her up as a respectable woman. Valjean had found redemption for Fantine, and in finding Cosette, he had fallen in love with Cosette as a daughter, and Cosette had fallen in love with Jean Valjean as a father. By fFinding Cosette, Valjean ended up adopting Cosette and both grew up to have better lives than what they were before. The bond that both Valjean and Cosette share gives the redemption that he was able to receive for himself. Despite both of their past, this bond was able to show that they were capable of love. The lifestyle of Cosette at the start of Volume IIthe second volume shows how the Thenardiers are still treating her in bad conditions since the death of Fantine. The lifestyle that Cosette is living shows that she does not have a way out of her miserable life that she has been putting up to since Fantine gave her to the Thenardiers. The family had given Cosette a hard time that they even made her do work. So Madame Thenardier sent Cosset to get some water and gave her a bucket that seemedseems massive. So the location that Cosette went was a far place where it was around the woods. When getting the water, the bucket was so heavy that she could not bring it back, but an unknown man came to help her to take the bucket back to her home. Once Cosette had come back, Madame Thenardier was mad that she took very long, she sawhad seen the unknown man that helped her but she attendedattends to him. The unknown man asked for a room and Madame gave him a room. When Madame’s little daughters were done playing with their dolls, they left the room. With Cosette under the table, she decided to play with them. Aafter that, Madame Thenardiers was mad at her and yelled at her. The unknown man witnessed this and he did not like what he saw and left the place to get Cosette something. When he came back, he brought a doll that was very expensive and Madame Thenardier was shocked that the unknown man brought her the doll:.”Cosette looked upon the wonderful doll with a sort of terror. Her face was still flooded with tears, but her eyes began to fill, like the sky in the breaking of dawn, with strange radiations of joy.” (Hugo, 170). This can show how the love and redemption that the unknown man that was Jean Valjean was the one who is saving Cosset from her miserable life. Being free for Cosette was an experience she had not felt in many years. She was able to experience being happy again and she reflected on her past to be able to finally be free from then chain the Thenardiers put her in.  “At times, she grew serious and looked musingly at her little black dress. Cosette was no longer in rags; she was in mourning. She was issuing from utter poverty and entering upon life.” (186). Cosette being in misery was tainting her. Physically making her thin as well as unnourished and stopped her from experiencing a pleasing childhood. Jean Valjean was able to set Cosette free from the Thenardiers, completing the promise he made with Fantine and thus gave Cosette the chance to finally experience life as a jovial child. Jean Valjean saves Cosette was the being of her new life and Cosette reflecting on the past demonstrates the new beginning she will start she will no longer be mistreated and will have a family she can truly depend on. Switching from her old life represented by the rags into her black dress reflecting on the past accepting her new life. The whole process Cosette goes through is her being saved from her despair by love; the new life depicting her receiving redemption by the love given by Jean Valjean. The bond between Cosette and Jean Valjean starts off as just two random people but after saving Cosette the love for one another depends.  It becomes strong enough that the love becomes that of father and daughter even though it is not created by blood. “Fifty-year interval of age-between Jean Valjean and Cosette…The instinct of Cosette sought as a father, as the instinct of Jean Valjean sought for a child…they recognized that they were mutually needed, and they closely embraced” (184). After both Cosette and Jean Valjean arrive in ParisFrance they become closer and acknowledge each other as a family due to the fact that they needed each other. Jean Valjean was lonely for most of his life and now has someone he can care for and wants to protect;.w Whereas Cosette was rejected by everyone around her until Jean Valjean helped her find someone who caredcares for her. Once both souls met they grew close and depended on each other. The love they have for each other as father and daughter gives them a chance to both live harmoniously as well as helps them live a new life where they can learn to depend on others and have ato be a life where they can live up to their own goals.With Valjean taking Cosette in, Cosette found redemption through him. After he takes her they grow together and Cosette realizes that she will have a better life with Jean Valjean, rather than with the Thenardiers: “Cosette was going away. With whom? She was ignorant. Where she knew not… she went from that house, hated, and hate…From time to time she looked at the Goodman. She felt somewhat as if she were near God. ” (178). Cosette sawwas seeing Valjean as a God, someone who she could turn to and could solve all of her problems. Which he sort of did because he took her out of that house, she had more money with Valjean, she turned out to be a very respectable woman, and had a better life in her adult life rather than what she did when she was in her younger years. She saw Jean Valjean as a new opportunity to be able to begin a better life, a life full of peace and of true bliss. The Thenardiers gave her a horrible childhood full of dreadful abuse and begin offered a new chance she became a beacon of hope that could be seen through her eyes changing from dread to that of a beautiful child. Cosette leaving the inn with hate demonstrate how the Thenardiers are not capable of redemption until they learn to leave their hate to find peace just like how Cosette left her hate at the inn and found a new feeling leaving the hotel which is admiration and hope for a better future.Redemption is an act that is difficult to complete and can be used to help not only the person that is tainted but by others around as well. For example, the way that Jean Valjean keeps his promise to Fantine to save Cosette. In doing this for Fantine he found his own redemption and was able to find peace. Through finding redemption something might come along that you love. In conclusion, despite your past or what you have done, there is always that hope for redemption will come when there is someone who gives love and compassion for those around him.

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