1. “A man entered, we know the man already.” We still have not been given the man;s name by Hugo. If we are familiar with the text, we know who it is, obviously. But again, I wonder if Hugo’s attempt to make him elusive are working and for what purpose he would do this. Obviously, Valjean is the main character and it seems silly at times for him to be denied of bonding with the reader. It is also interesting to note that so far, Valjean has always been observed by someone else. The reader’s viewpoint of him is never from himself, where we are able to view his thoughts and opinions but from people who too, do not know him. He is demonised by those who do not know him.
2. Hugo eventually caves and gives us a few tid bits but they are very vague. Valjean does not seem a religious person. He states immediately that there was “no God to stop it raining.” This is to be expected due to his suffering and tenure in prison. I will definitely go into more detail about this. We also learn that he can read, he is educated in some way. His character changes soon after he is shown some kindness. He appears quite child-like in this moment and that is to be forgiven. He craves and yearns for the respect. The narrator makes him appear like a puppy, starved of attention. He becomes fairly harmless in this point. Again, throughout the chapter we are given small bits of information but not too much.