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March 13, 2023
2 mins read

“Farewell: A Condemned Man’s Final Day” By Victor Hugo

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In The Last Day of a Condemned Man, Victor Hugo uses the characters to symbolize different classes of society. For example, the protagonist, the Condemned Man, symbolizes the lower class, while the Minister of Justice symbolizes the higher class. Other characters, such as the priest, symbolize the religious class, while the jailer symbolizes the law enforcement class. Through these characters, Hugo is able to create a commentary on the social divisions in 19th century France, showcasing the disparities between the various classes of society.

Mehrpouya Hemmatpour – A man has been condemned to death by the guillotine in 19th-century France. In Bicêtre writes down his thoughts, feelings and fears while awaiting his execution. His writing traces his change in psyche vis-a-vis the world outside the prison cell throughout his imprisonment, and describes his life in prison, everything from what his cell looks like to the personality of the prison priest. He does not betray his name or what he has done to the reader, though he vaguely hints that he has killed someone; just a nameless, faceless, irrelevant victim.

The novella also contains a blueprint of Jean Valjean, the hero of Hugo’s Les Miserables. As the Condemned is waiting to be executed he meets another condemned man who recounts his life story. The man tells him that he was originally sent to prison for stealing a loaf of bread to save his sister’s family. This is the same backstory that Hugo gives for Jean Valjean.

At another point he tries to escape by conning a superstitious guard to give him his clothes. The guard almost does until common sense gets the better of him and he declines exchanging clothes with the Condemned.

On the day that the Condemned is to be executed he sees his three-year-old daughter for the last time, but she no longer recognizes him, and she tells him that her father is dead.

The novel ends just after he briefly but desperately begs for pardon and curses the people of his time, the people he hears outside, screaming impatiently for the spectacle of his decapitation.

The Last Day of a Condemned Man, written by Victor Hugo, is a powerful story of one man’s journey through the French justice system and the harrowing experience of being sentenced to death. Through this novel, Hugo paints a vivid picture of the brutality of the penal system and the injustice that befell those who were condemned to die.

The novel follows the story of a man named Jean Valjean, who is sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. On the day of his execution, he is visited by a priest who helps him to come to terms with his fate and to make the most of his last day. Through this story, Hugo explores the themes of justice, mercy, and redemption, as Valjean comes to terms with his impending death and finds solace in his faith.

The Last Day of a Condemned Man is a heartbreaking story that provides a window into the harsh realities of the French justice system. Hugo’s writing is powerful and evocative, and he effectively conveys the emotions of the characters and their sense of hopelessness. His prose is vivid and effective, and the story is filled with moments of both intense despair and moments of grace and beauty.

Overall, The Last Day of a Condemned Man is a powerful story that sheds light on the injustices of the French justice system and the power of faith and redemption. Hugo’s writing is powerful and evocative, and the story is filled with moments of both intense despair and moments of grace and beauty. For readers looking for an emotional and thought-provoking story, The Last Day of a Condemned Man is an excellent choice.

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Fajr

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