Les Misérables Writing Task Notes
Probably the best known of Victor Hugo’s tales, this is the story of a whole gamut of characters (Jean Valjean the ex-convict who seeks redemption, Javert the devoted policeman who seeks to bring him to justice, Fantine the factory girl forced into prostitution to provide for her daughter, Cosette who is deprived of her childhood by her greedy guardians, Marius the idealistic young student, and the Thénardiers who take advantage of everyone) whose destinies are intertwined and whose actions impact on one another’s lives.
“Les Misérables” deals with a great variety of themes in the guise of a tale of adventure, but at its core it looks at life and the nature of society and relationships.
So, what is it all about? This is the tale of a decent man who spends 19 years in prison as the result of stealing bread, and three failed attempts to escape. Bitter and angry on his release, Valjean meets a Bishop who changes his outlook on life and he spends the remainder of his life trying to help others in various ways. This is also the story of the various people he meets on his journey through life.
It is a story of redemption, love, devotion, duty, principle, selflessness and the very structure of society.
Valjean is the touching anti-hero, Fantine the tragic heroine, and Javert the highly principled but flawed policeman.
Through this tale, Hugo describes various facets of society and human nature. He invites us to reflect on the way we lead our lives, and to consider the way we think of others.
The Writing Task
You should aim to produce 150 – 200 words. To help structure your writing, you should use the following bullet points:
· Give a brief outline of the story
· Describe the main character(s) in some detail
· Discuss the themes
· Give your general opinion of the film
When you come to write about “Les Misérables”, you should make full use of the vocabulary lists provided, you should pay attention to the structures and vocabulary in your answers.
In giving an outline of the story it might be a good idea to use the present tense. This is often used in French to describe events in a book or film.
When describing characters, you should be aware of a variety of possible responses to them, and use a selection of adjectives to describe them. Avoid simple lists and you might want to provide a brief account of some events.
The description of your favourite scene could be written in the perfect tense.
Discussing themes and your general response to the film provides the opportunity to develop your own ideas and your own language to communicate these ideas. Remember to express yourself as clearly as possible.
C’est l’histoire de condamner
Il s’agit de le bagne
Un ancien forçat poursuivre
Un policier abandonner
Un évêque élever
Des étudiants rencontrer
Des fois il paraît …. Je n’apprécie pas
Il a un côté …
Comme Je le trouve ….
on découvre … Je la trouve …..
je trouve que
ce que je trouve admirable/détestable chez …, est …
Il / elle est …..
Souvent / parfois un peu ….
Il / elle peut être ….
Amer aimant tourmenté
Fâché sérieux torturé
Rusé fort d’esprit
Fidèle à ses principes l’esprit fermé
Fier pas ouvert
La liberté la rédemption
Passionnant laisser indifférent certaines séquences
Touchant long certains passages
Émouvant lent certaines chansons
Triste ennuyeux d’autres étaient …