Les MisérablesProvoked by the death of Jean Maximilien Lamarque, Les Misérables plot is centered around the June Rebellion which occurred in France during 1832. The events of the story are conveyed mainly through the eyes of Jean Valjean, a former slave turned mayor of Montreuil-sur-mer, Javert, a police inspector who relentlessly enforces law and order and will stop at nothing to uphold France’s harsh penal codes, Fantine, a young woman and mother of an illegitimate child who Jean Valjean sees as his god-sent duty to protect, Cosette, Fantine’s daughter who, under the care of Valjean and the nuns of Petit-Picpus, ultimately blossoms into a brave, educated young woman, and Marius Pontmercy, the son of Georges Pontmercy, a colonel in Napoléon’s army, who undergoes a crisis in discovering who he really is.The story begins with Jean Valjean being released from prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and for subsequent attempts to escape. After traveling to the town of Digne, Valjean seeks shelter while fearful of the response from locals knowing all too well the disdain for ex-convicts. With seemingly nowhere left to go, Valjean knocks on the door of Myriel, the local bishop of Digne. It is here that Valjean nearly loses his recently acquired freedom when he attempts to steal the silverware of Myriel. When the police confront Valjean, Myriel unexpectedly lies for him, claiming that the silverware was a gift all along, so much so that he reminds Valjean of the candles he forgot to take as well. The authorities reluctantly free Valjean and Myriel makes him swear to become an honest man. Ready to fulfill his promise, Valjean changes his identity and travels to the town of Montreuil-sur-mer hoping to change his life and greatly improve those within Montreuil-sur-mer. Under the false name of Madeleine, Valjean pioneers a revolutionary manufacturing process that boosts the town’s economy and makes Madeleine a local heroic figure, eventually allowing him to become the town’s mayor.The rising events of Les Misérables continue in Montreuil, where Fantine finds work as a sowing woman in Madeleine’s factory. Fantine’s coworkers, who are bitterly jealous of her looks and treatment by the administrator, find out about Cosette, Fantine’s illegitimate child who she had with the rich student Tholomyes, and this results in Fantine being fired. After being thrown to the streets, Fantine desperately searches for some way to provide for Cosette who has been staying with the Thenardeirs in an inn far away. Unable to find a job Fatnine resorts to prostitution to make ends meet. One night, Javert, Montreuil’s police chief, comes across a fight between Fantine and a French man who was attempting to rape her. After hearing the man’s claims, Javert begins to arrest the broken and sick Fantine. Fortunately for Fantine Madeleine arrives just in time and intervenes. Seeing the ill Fantine, and hearing her pleads for the safety of her daughter, Madeleine takes Fantine and is determined to help her. Not long after saving her from arrest Fantine becomes even more ill, and when she longs to see her daughter Cosette, Madeleine promises to send for her. However, it is at this time that Javert has discovered Madeleine’s criminal past. Javert tells Madeleine the news of a man who has been accused of being Jean Valjean and apologies for suspecting it was Madeleine, Madeleine; however, confesses his true identity much to the shock of Javert. Later, Javert arrives to arrest Valjean while he is at Fantine’s bedside, and Fantine dies from shock.After slaving away in brutal conditions for a few years, Valjean is once again provided an opportunity at freedom and escapes from prison while saving another man’s life. The authorities believe Valjean to be dead and thus he heads to Montfermeil, where he is able to buy Cosette from the Thénardiers with the money he buried before being locked away. The Thénardiers turn out to be a cruel Cinderella-esque family who mistreat Cosette while spoiling their terrible daughters, Eponine and Azelma. Valjean and Cosette move to Paris but before long Javert discovers the two, recognizes them, and so Valjean and Cosette are forced to flee finally finding refuge in a convent.After fleeing Paris, the next main character within the story is introduced. Marius Pontmercy. Marius is a young man who lives with his wealthy grandfather, M. Gillenormand. Due to political conflicts within the family, however, Marius never meets his father, Georges Pontmercy. After his father’s death, Marius learns about his father’s opinions and support of democratic values. Furious with his grandfather, Marius moves out and decides to live as a poor law student studying the values he’s come to associate himself with. One day, Marius sees an utterly beautiful woman while strolling by a public park. That woman is Cosette. Despite the two’s sincere affection for each other, Valjean does his utmost to prevent Cosette and Marius from meeting for he fears the result if Cosette is recognized. Their paths are fated to cross once again, however, when Valjean decides to make a visit to Marius’s poor neighbors, the Jondrettes. The Jondrettes turn out to be the Thénardiers, who have lost their inn and assets and moved to Paris under an assumed name, much like Valjean himself. After Valjean leaves the house, Thénardier devises a plan to rob Valjean of his money, affirming the corrupt nature already closely associated with the family. Fearing for Valjean and Cosette, Marius alerts the local police inspector, who turns out to be Javert. Javert arrives and prevents the ambush just as Valjean recognizes the police officer and narrowly avoids detection.After talking with Thénardier’s daughter Eponine, Marius is able to discover Cosette’s whereabouts and the two declare their love for each other. Valjean, however, refuses to allow them to remain together. Worried that he will lose Cosette and fearing social unrest in the city, Valjean decides that he and Cosette will move to England, far away from suspicion and the threat of chaos. After unsuccessfully begging his grandfather for the right to wed Cosette, Marius returns only to discover that her and Valjean have disappeared. Broken and confused, Marius decides to join his radical law students who have engaged in a political uprising, lightly armed Marius heads for the barricades. Despite the seemingly inevitable odds stacked against them, Marius and his friends vow to stand their ground and fight for the values of liberty and freedom. While fighting, Marius’ life is saved by Eponine who daringly takes a bullet for the one she loves. Before she dies she hands him a letter from Cosette and Marius quickly writes one in response and has it dispatched to reach Cosette.Valjean manages to find the note and swiftly sets out to save the life of his daughter’s love. After arriving at the barricades Valjean discovers Javert there held captive. Secretly he lets him go free despite the original plan of Marius’ friends. As the French army bombards the barricade, Valjean grabs the nearly dead Marius and makes a crafty escape through the sewers. Once the fighting has died down, when Valjean and Marius emerge from the sewers, Javert immediately arrests Valjean Javert feels lost, torn between his duty to the French crown and values he’s upheld his entire life and the debt he owes Valjean for saving him from certain death. Ultimately, Javert spares Valjean and decides to throw himself into the river as he cannot live anymore knowing he went against the very law he’s enforced for so long..After making a full recovery, Marius is given consent by his grandfather to wed Cosette and the two become happily married. After discovering Valjean’s criminal history, however, Marius becomes increasing cautious of Valjean eventually attempting to keep Cosette from being around him. Much to Marius’ surprise, Thénardier reveals to him that Valjean was the man who saved Marius’ life at the barricades. Guilty that he mistrusted Valjean, Marius reveals everything to Cosette and they rush to the now tired Valjean’s bedside just in time for a final reconciliation. Happy to be reunited with his adopted daughter, Valjean dies in peace.Although the story of Les Misérables is centered around the June Rebellion in France, there are many similarities between the France depicted in Les Misérables and in the France described by the textbook. Both examples display the unmendable tensions between the lower classes and nobility which were doomed to erupt into chaos. In Les Misérables, without Lamarque in government anymore, the people felt as if they had even less of a voice than before and an increasingly backwards government only added fuel to the fire of rebellion. A similar case of this can be seen throughout chapter 20 when the textbook describes the events of the Reign of Terror and Robespierre’s ruthless ruling. It is due to the ignoring and dehumanization of the people of France that the French populace staged several revolutions before finally establishing a stable government that could properly represent all its people and that wasn’t bestowed insurmountable power.