Today, we discuss chapter I of book 1, volume 1 of Les Misérables: Who guarded his House for him.
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|Nisi Dominus custodierit domum, in vanum vigilant qui custodiunt eam. Si le Seigneur ne protège pas la maison, c’est en vain que veillent ceux qui la protègent.
||Nisi Dominus custodierit domum, in vanum vigilant qui custodiunt eam. Unless the Lord guard the house, in vain do they watch who guard it.
This chapter sets the stage for the major plot development that will happen in book 2. While in chapter II~V, Hugo used the character of Myriel in order to expose his own idealistic vision, the purpose of this one is chiefly to help get the story started.
Still, it does not prevent the author from covering a couple of important themes, providing additional pieces to his overall vision.
Security is the main theme being expounded in this chapter: the huge differential between the richest and the poorest is one of the main factors which affect security and which drives individuals and whole countries to build more and more extreme defences in order to protect and maintain that differential.
Also this chapter completes the portrait of the practical, heart-centred intellectual which was started in the previous chapter.
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