Les Misérables of Victor Hugo's France:

Le Boulevard

Gustave Doré creator. 1862-1863. A couple in abandoning their child at a hospice, where unwanted children were cared for by the state.

(Works Cited)

 

 

 

Poverty A Good Neighbor of Misery:

Much of France's population was poverty-stricken during the 19th century. These citizens were forced into a life of destitution and misery. Innumerable authors have written novels surrounding the lives of the poor, showing great empathy for them. One such novel is Victor Hugo's Les Misérables. Thousands of readers have come to love Hugo's poverty-stricken characters-- most notably, Eponine, Gavroche, Fantine, and the child Cosette.

L'Illustration. Artists unknown.

February 10, 1844

 

The poor class, also known as the dangerous class, caused great controversy, turmoil, and change during the 19th century. The majority of the Bourgeoisie looked down upon and despised the poor. Thus, a great class inequality arose. The poor for the most part were only thought of as criminals, vagabonds, prostitutes, and sinful, immoral people. In some part this thought was correct; however, the impoverished were forced into prostitution, begging, and other sinful profession because of their destitute situation. Often times, children received the worst treatment due to these stereotypical beliefs of the Bourgeoisie, and the poor status of their parents. Many were either abandoned, and became wards of the state, or remained in unstable home environments, where they were prone to child abuse and prostitution by their parents.

However, there was not only grief, sorrow, and misery in the poor class. In fact, some powerful and strong women emerged from this class. Many unruly women

 

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