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How Society Affects Human Nature In Les Miserables Victor Hugo portrays human nature in a neutral state Humans are born with neither good nor bad instincts but rather society affects our actions and thoughts Hugo portrays the neutral state of mind through Jean Valjean and Cosette The two extremes of good and evil are represented through Thnardier and the bishop Good and evil coexists in the society and affects Valjean and Cosette It is the two extremes of good and evil that dictate the lives of Valjean and Cosette The bishop represents charity and love Everything hes ever had he gave to charity When the bishop first met Valjean he said You need not tell me who you are This is not my house it is the house of Christ It does not ask any comer whether he has a name but whether he has an affliction You are suffering you are hungry and thirsty be welcome And do not thank me do not tell me that I take you into my house whatever is here is yours pg 15-16 The bishop didnt look at him as a convict he looked at him as a fellow brother Later when the bishop found out that Valjean stole his silver he wasnt mad but offered all of his silver to Valjean saying Dont forget that you promised me to use this silver to become an honest man Thnardier on the other hand is the exact opposite of the bishop He represents the corruptive nature of society Hes the one that changes people for the bad An example of how Thnardier represents greed and evil is how he mistreated Cosette when he was taking care of her He made her wash and clean while letting his kids run around and play Thnardier took advantage of Cosettes mother Fantine He kept on asking her for more money when in fact he didnt really need it When it was
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