Les Misérables Questions and Answers
by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables book cover
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What do the candlesticks symbolize in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables?

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Candlesticks usually contain candles, which emit light. Light is often associated with spiritual awakening or understanding. For example, in Genesis, God creates light, separates the "light from the darkness," and acknowledges that light is good, or goodness (1:3-4). Later, the psalmist refers to God's commands as a "light unto [his] path" (Psalm 119:105). Later still, John the gospel writer acknowledges Jesus Christ referring to himself as the "Light of the World" (8:12). All of which shows us that light, such as emitted from a candle, symbolizes spirituality and spiritual awakening. The candlesticks and light they are associated with would especially symbolize spiritual awakening when associated with the Bishop of Digne.

After Jean Valjean is released from prison, the only one who is willing to take him and treat him like a human being is the Bishop of Digne. Sadly, still caught up in his old ways of...

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