Les Misérables Questions and Answers
by Victor Hugo

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What are two critical moments in Jean Valjean's life that were influenced by religion, as seen in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables?

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The first most important moment in which religion influenced Jean Valjean's life relates to the Bishop of Digne's mercy and generosity . When Jean Valjean was finally released from prison after 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread for his seven starving nephews and nieces, he found that every place he went to in order to find food and lodging turned him out when they learned that he was an ex-convict. At one point he even tried to sleep in what turned out to be a dog's house but was turned out by the growling dog; he then declared in despair, "I am not even a dog!" (Vol. 1, Bk. 2, Ch. 1). The...

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abaigael | Student

The first moment was when the Bishop of Digne showed him compassion and gave him a chance to change his life by telling officers  that he had given Jean Valjean his silver. Valjean had, in fact, stolen it. In this moment, the bishop's actions made Valjean realize that must change and become an honest man.


The second moment was when another man was being charged with a crime he had committed in his past. Valjean was forced to search his soul and came to the conclusion that he must turn himself in to ensure this innocent man would go free.

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revolution | Student

Jean Valjeans is an ex-convinct who is struggling to redeem himself morally and gains acceptance from the human society who had branded and rejected him as a social outcast and put him in the bottom of the social hierarchy. It was the meeting with the Bishop of Digne, who accepts him for who is are and gives him a helping hand regardless of his criminal past that engulfs his entire life, even though he had tried to steal something from his household one day,  learning the lesson of unconditional love that gives him a reason for living throughout this troubled times and suffered through all those trials and temptations that he had to face- the obstacle towards his success.

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rahulp | Student

One of them was when the bishop of D___ shelters him gives him "unconditional love". I hope this helps :-)

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