Uploaded by Michelle Drake


Prompt: In a well-developed essay, discuss how the use of diction, detail, imagery,
syntax, and/or figurative language helps to develop Hugo’s opinion of the
Thenardier family.
What were the Thenardiers?
They belonged to that bastard class formed of low people who have risen, and
intelligent people who have fallen, which lies between the classes called middle and lower,
and which unites some of the faults of the latter with nearly all the vices of the former,
without possessing the generous impulses of the workman, or the respectability of the
They were of those dwarfish natures, which, if perchance heated by some sullen fire,
easily become monstrous. The woman was at heart a brute; the man a blackguard: both in
the highest degree capable of that hideous species of progress which can be made toward
evil. There are souls which, crablike, crawl continually toward darkness, going back in life
rather than advancing in it, using what experience they have to increase their deformity,
growing worse without ceasing, and becoming steeped more and more thoroughly in an
intensifying wickedness. Such souls were this man and this woman.
To be wicked does not insure prosperity – for the inn did not succeed well.