Failure of Law

Essay by poop78 May 2014

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Failure of Law

Victor Hugo demonstrated that laws, although made to protect the everyday man, are the cause for unwarranted hardships. The juxtapositions made between the governmental law and the moral law showed how flawed the former was, and set itself up for failure.. Whatever ill attempt the authorities have tried to reinforce the laws have come at a price for the people in the lower levels of society. Most of those laws only benefited the rich and wealthy, hence the system failing over time. The laws no longer served the populace, and became the target for resentment. "Never had he seen anything of it but this wrathful face that it calls Justice and that it shows to those it strikes"(76). Jean Valjean had become enraged after he traced the cause of his misfortune to everyone who was supposed to be in high positions: the church and the government officials.

In contrast, the appeal of the more humane, charitable law that Bishop Myriel demonstrated to everyone, set up the moral standard so high for the book, despite his position of power. He proved that human nature was much more nurturing and forgiving than the preset laws that existed. It is that argument that Hugo makes when he says "Religions pass away, but God remains." Government laws didn't acknowledge a change of heart in a person, but moved in a black or white mentality. A much more flexible set of laws, ones that aren't written down, or enforced with violence, was Hugo's ideal way to govern a group of people. It mirrors exactly with the culture that Hugo was living in; during the aftermath of the destroying the monarchy and the transition into a new government. He hoped that his country wouldn't be run by a small and exclusive group...