Literature

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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By Victor Hugo

Sensational, dramatic, choked with wealthy pleasure and choked with the sweep and violence of human passions, LES MISERABLES isn't just terrific experience yet a robust social record. the tale of ways the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to flee his earlier and reaffirm his humanity, in an international brutalized via poverty and lack of knowledge, turned the gospel of the terrible and the oppressed.

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Such persons are very apt to be played upon by their companions. There are few men who, in their younger days, have not assisted in shaving the heads and painting the faces of these lethargic drunkards' (pp. 64-5). Before his death of typhoid at 34, MacNish worked to cure these varied drunkards. While most Romantic doctors and observers preserve their objectivity in treating and describing individual and family cases, two contemporaries complicate their observations with personal involvement. Though from very different backgrounds, Francis Dionysian Myths and Alcoholic Realities 23 Place and Basil Montagu both write at length about alcohol use as a serious problem in the London of the Romantic era.

Two long essays in his three volumes explore the sources of alcohol abuse in the late eighteenth century. The first, 'Essay on the Means of Avoiding Habitual Sickliness and Premature Mortality', exposes the evils of schools for girls and boys, where cold, hunger, boredom, lack of exercise, and 'early sexual intemperance' stunt the growth and vitality of children. Among boys, boredom leads to 20 Bacchus in Romantic England drinking: Tittle boys, if I am not grossly misinformed, guzzle at their meals so strong a fermented liquor as porter.

Upbraid the drunkard, abhor the madman, pass them by like the priest and thank God like the Pharisees that He did not make you as one of these! I have been drunk more than once, and my passion often borders on madness, and I regret neither. Because, in my own way, I have learned to understand that all exceptional people who created something great, something that seemed impossible, have to be decried as drunkards or madmen. And I find it intolerable, even in our daily life, to hear it said of almost everyone who manages to do something that is free, noble and unexpected: He is a drunkard, he is a fool.

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