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The main character is Jean Valjean, a convict who is released from prison and, after meeting a priest who helps him to regain his footing in life, vows to dedicate his life to good and becomes a successful businessman.
Inspector Javert is a man who dedicates his life to hunting for Valjean, and eventually finds him and cannot face the world with a good Valjean and kills himself.
Fantine is a young woman who becomes a prostitute and in desperation to take care of her child, on her deathbed, gets Valjean to commit to taking care of Fantine, her baby girl.
There are a number of other important characters, enotes has a great guide to the story in the link below.
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