“Religions pass away but God remains…”
The Perfect Depiction of Christian Love in Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean
Robin A. Brace
It should be no surprise that the great French novelist Victor Hugo was a passionate believer in God and in the power of prayer for this powerfully comes across in his wonderful and inspiring novel Les Miserables, now, of course, also a successful Broadway and West End musical, with lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and music by Claude-Michel Schonberg (original French lyrics by Alain Boubil).
In the very moving story, Victor Hugo beautifully depicts the transforming power of true Christian love in the life of Jean Valjean.
The story is really too intricate and cleverly inter-woven to even give a brief summary here but, basically, it follows the life of one Jean Valjean who rises from the chain gang (imprisoned for stealing bread to feed his sister’s starving child) to eventually become a town mayor, but who then risks all in order to protect the young daughter of Fantine, a factory girl forced into prostitution in order to feed her child. When Fantine is in danger of being imprisoned, Valjean steps in to protect her child. But he is relentlessly pursued by Inspector Javert for breaking parole and there are numerous twists to the plot along the way yet Valjean’s Christian conversion is well-depicted even in the modern musical version. The musical also clearly depicts how Valjean’s glowing Christian character inspires and illuminates everybody who comes into contact with him…
The essay continues at UK Apologetics
H/T Jack Cashill:
Rarely mentioned in the reviews of Les Miserables–a truly great film–is how deeply Christian the story is, and director Tom Hooper does not shy from reinforcing the point. The OWS crowd will like this movie only if they ignore the lyrics.