Les Miserables

State Standards

  • 3.0 Literary Response and Analysis- Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They conduct in-depth analyses of recurrent themes. The selections in Recommended Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.

Project Summary

Reading Les Miserables was a summer prelude assignment. Over the course of the summer, we were assigned to read the entire 1500 page, unabridged novel and complete a thorough quote journal, documenting what seemed like important quotes from nearly every section of the novel. These quotes would later go towards an analysis of the philosophical questions posed by Les Miserable. In addition to a brief essay addressing some of the deep questions Victor Hugo poses in Les Miserables, we completed a poster in groups that illustrated different concepts and ideas from the story.

What I Learned

I learned a great deal from reading Les Miserables. I learned about the French Revolution, about the power of the will of a single determined man. I learned the difficulty in writing essays for AP Literature. Les Miserables was a book of firsts, firsts where I learned what to expect the hard way, by getting right in to it. However, it was also quite a fun experience. It was an opportunity to read a masterful work that had earned a high place in history, read by generations of people. I cannot say that I regret reading the complete Les Miserables.

The Essay