The Variations of Love How is it that hidden within a story full of hunger, despair, and the fight for freedom that the truest conquest is that of love? Throughout history love has been the one emotion that could create and destroy a life within a breath. It is simply impossible to state that love comes in several forms, for love is emitted from everything. It has been expressed throughout all time and in every form, even those which condemn it. Still, love is the one emotion that can overcome all other misfortunes.
How far should someone go for love? Should they commit a crime, should they steal or kill, and where should they draw the line? With both parents dead and Jean left as the oldest sibling he was faced with numerous responsibilities. One of the hardest was being that of hunger. Should he steal food, some bread, for his family, or let them starve.
Unfortunately, for doing wrong for love Jean had changes his life forever.
Where we live the one thing everyone loves yet takes for granted must be freedom. Jean Valjean, being imprisoned twice had but one thing on his mind, regaining this virtue once again. However, in attempting to do this multiple times by escaping from jail he succeeded only in lengthening his sentence without it. You can not learn to appreciate something that you always have had until you lose it. Perhaps this is why Jean was forever thankful of the little things, which everyone had and was happy to have only those once he was out of prison, so long as he had his freedom.
Even stronger then the love of freedom is that of life. Your life is something that once taken for granted is lost, and that once lost can never again be found. Everyone has some form of love for life for without that love they would find no reason to live. In Les Miserables we see that some do not love their life enough.
Two of the strongest cases to support the need for the love of life must be those of Javert and Jean. Javert, seeing how much Jean loved being alive could not grasp why he had wasted his life taking the love out of others. Realizing that no one had any love for him, he lost all love for himself and his life, so he took it. The opposite side of this coin must be that of Jean Valjean. Throughout the entire book Jean expresses a strong love for his life. He strives to do everything he could to make his life worth the love he felt for it. When he wasn't doing that he was trying to make everyone else's life better and more loveable.
A bond that can never be broken is that of a parent and their child. Fantine held so much love for Cosette that she was willing to let her go in order to give her a better life, even if just for a short time. Still, like many misfortunes that befall people, Fantine was never again to see Cosette yet only die with her name lingering on her lips. Proving that promises never die, after escaping from prison for a second time Jean found Cosette and took her to lead a better life. He grew to love Cosette as much as any parent could. Not simply because he had raised her, but also because he had never felt a love so strong before and it made him realize that he truly did have something to live for. To make Cosette's life happier Jean was willing to put his own feelings aside, just like most parents would. You would never know that Jean was not Cosette's real father.
Love at first sight, how can you explain it. For a start, Marius and Cosette. From the first time that they laid eyes on each other, sitting on bark benches they were in the first stages of love. Their love became one that was based mostly upon chance yet one that would last forever and through everything. This is the one and only true love expressed in Les Miserables and the only form of love that was not based upon some kind of lie or misunderstanding. Marius and Cosette learned to respect each other because of how strong their love was for each other and because of this they were able to work through anything that came their way. Their love was also the only form in this book that held any passion and any hope for the future.
When ever a new love is formed there is bound to be someone who is forced to agree with it against his or her will. When Jean first learned that Marius and Cosette were courting each other, and later that they were in love he was against it on hundred percent. Silently, and not so silently Jean believed in his heart that Cosette deserved better. However Jean made these assumptions solely on what he saw on the outside, not what was on the inside. To give Jean's feelings at least a little support, what parent doesn't want the best for their child, and what parent ever thinks that their child's mate is the best that they could have done. Still, Jean learned that given time the best in people will always out weigh the worst. Jean later discovered that Marius was the kind of man that any father could hope for to love their daughter.
One of the largest areas of love in this book must be that in the form of respect. Right from the beginning Jean held a great respect for anyone who dared to show him any kindness. Over time Jean developed a love for a few of these people whom he respected so greatly. Marius and Fantine were two people who played a large part in this area of his life but the largest spot was the one filled by the Bishop. This man shaped Jean's life so completely that Jean strove solely to live up to the Bishop's expectations of him. Jean felt that seeing as the Bishop had given him so much that he did not deserve, he would live his life trying make others lives easier and more enjoyable, thus making use of the gifts that he was given. Jean Valjean was not the only one who strove to prove a respect-based love to someone else. Marius held a strong love for Thenardier, until he learned what his morals really were. Marius had this strong respect because Thenardier had saved his fathers' life and so Marius put part of the love that he had for his father into a form of respect towards Thenardier. However this love soon faded away to nothing but hate when Marius learned just what kind of a man he was, though he did remain ever grateful that he had saved his father.
Although Marius had eyes only for Cosette, others had eyes for him. One of the most tragic forms of love must be that which is unrequited. Eponine had loved Marius since she saw him with her father that first night, yet she had also always known that there was no hope for them. As many desperate people have thought Eponine believe that if she could not have Marius, no one should be able to. So she wrote him a false letter telling him to meet Cosette when in actuality he was simply being led into the French revolution. Yet when the barrel of a gun was pointed towards Marius, it was Eponine who placed her hand over the end, sending the bullet through her and out of her back, slowly killing her. Though she knew that she would not have Marius she could not bear to stand by and watch him be killed. And like the true desperate lover that she was she made right just before death by telling Marius the truth and giving him Cosette's real letter.
Within this dark and forbidding story full of struggle, love overcomes everything else. It seems that the hardest mountain to climb must be that of love, yet it is the one that everyone wishes to climb. Though it is known to bring about more sadness then happiness as long as you keep trying it will always shine through. Perhaps this is why those who go to great lengths to get and keep someone's love do, while those who do not try at all die alone.