Thursday, March 3, 2011

Character Connection: Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

It's been awhile since I've written about a character crush, so it's about time again. If you want to join us, be sure head on over to Jen at The Introverted Reader and link up.

It hit me the other day that I needed to write about a Les Mis character. At first I thought it would be Marius but  then I realized that truly, Jean Valjean is the heart and soul of this book and he needs first recognition.

Jean Valjean from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Jean Valjean truly is an amazing character. He starts out so unsure of himself. Bruised and broken, trodden down and very very low. When he gets out of prison, finally, he is desperate. So sad. And then comes the pivotal scene with the priest, you know the one that gives him shelter, then when he (Jean) is brought back having been caught stealing, the priest says no, he GAVE him the silver, and even gave him more after that.

Jean Valjean changes from that moment on and dedicates his life to doing good. He ends up a model citizen, a mayer in fact, and a prominent figure in the community. Yet, he still has trouble chasing him from place to place (in the form of one of my favorite villains, Javert)  and causing him all manner of grief. Some of the choices he has to make are incredibly painful. And in the end, he is redeemed from those earlier moments of the story many many times over.

I'm so excited to be able to see this show, my favorite Broadway show ever, twice in the next few months. Once in April when the local high school will be doing it, and then again in June when the professional touring company comes to town. So fun! Wouldn't it be awesome to re-read this book before then? :)

There's so many awesome moments to this story and the show. But the one that highlights the character of Jean Valjean the very best is during the song Bring Him Home, when he is praying that the life of Marius (who loves his foster daughter Cosette) is spared as the French Revolution starts, and that his own life be taken instead if need be.

Have you read this book... or seen the show? Who's your favorite character? What're your feelings  on Jean Valjean?


  1. I got goosebumps just reading your post! I haven't read the book, but this is my favorite show ever. At least so far. :-) And Jean Valjean was my favorite character. I am a sucker for a redemption story. I am not a crier but I was surreptitiously swiping them away at least twice during the show. Perfect, perfect choice!

  2. Yeah, I'm glad you liked this one Jen! I was beginning to think I was all alone in my love him! And for this story! :)

  3. I just started playing the video and my husband perked up and looked over my shoulder. "Is that Les Mis? Are we ever gonna see it again?" Hee hee! Even men love it! Well, at least mine does.



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