Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them onto the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Jean Valjean is a noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. Victor Hugo uses this dramatic story to criticize the French political and judicial systems, but also to convey the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds.
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