Les Miserables Essay Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Essay by sb891764High School, 10th gradeA-, September 2013

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Honors English 10

Les Miserables Essay: Cosette's Internal Drive

Throughout literature, authors often design articulate relationships among their characters in which one's actions influence that of the others. In Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, a young child named Cosette drives the evolutionary plot of the story and takes part in the transformation of several characters and their relationships with one another.

Cosette at the age of three falls victim to the corruption of the Thenardiers, when her mother, Fantine, is forced to leave her behind to find work enough to pay for her daughter's care. Cosette lives an oppressed childhood with the Thenardiers. She comes to be known as The Lark due to the conditions in which she lives.

"Her clothes being gone, they dressed her in the cast off garments of the little Thenardiers, this is in rags. They fed her on the odds and ends, a little better than the dog, and a little worse than the cat.

The dog and cat were her messmates. Cosette ate with them under the table in a wooden dish. … It was a harrowing sight to see in the winter time the poor child, not yet six years old, shivering under the tatters of what was once a calico dress, sweeping the street before daylight with an enormous broom in her little red hands and tears in her large eyes. In the place she was called The Lark." (Hugo, 46-47)

Cosette is only a mere six years old, but she has become a house slave to the Thenardiers over the past three years. The Thenardiers ask for excessive amounts of money from Cosette's mother in which they claim to use for her care. She is made to clean the house and given nothing but remnants of the family...