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50 Timeless Quotes From Les Misérables

50 Timeless Quotes From Les Misérables

Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is a timeless epic of love, loss, and revolution. Set during the French Revolution, this tale depicts the vast suffering of France’s lower classes, and highlights a former prisoner’s attempts to bring love and justice back into daily life.

Though the book is worth reading, the musical is what really brought out the story’s depth and stole our hearts. It’s subsequent films have helped solidify Les Mis as a masterpiece of artistic creation. Here are just a few timeless lines from the book, musical, and films.

Love

1. “Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is this way that love begins, and in this way only.” – Victor Hugo, book

2. “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing more.” – Victor Hugo, book

3. “The silver in my hand costs twice what I had earned in all those nineteen years, that lifetime of despair, and yet he trusted me.” – Jean Valjean, musical

4. “You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of love is to love by it.” – Victor Hugo, book

5. “Life’s great happiness is to be convinced we are loved.” – Victor Hugo, book

6. “Yet why did I allow that man to touch my soul and teach me love? He treated me like any other, he gave me his trust, he called me brother.” – Jean Valjean, musical & film

7. “She did not ask him; did not even think where and how he had managed to get into the garden. It seemed so natural to her that he should be there…When they had finished, when they had told each other everything, she laid her head on his shoulder, and asked him: ‘What is your name?’ ‘My name is Marius,’ he said. ‘And yours?’ ‘My name is Cosette.’” – Victor Hugo, book

8. “Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God.” – Victor Hugo, book

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9. “To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul.” – Victor Hugo, book

10. “You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again, and great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves, and even loved in spite of ourselves.” – Victor Hugo, book

11. “And remember, the truth that once was spoken: to love another person is to see the face of God.” – Victor Hugo, book; Fantine, Jean Valjean & Eponine, musical & film

12. “Love almost replaces thought. Love is a burning forgetfulness of everything else.” – Victor Hugo, book

13. “If no one loved, the sun would go out.” – Victor Hugo, book

Suffering

14. “There is a point at which the unfortunate and the infamous are associated and confounded in a single word, a fatal word, Les Misérables.” – Victor Hugo, book

15. “People weighed down with troubles do not look back; they know only too well that misfortune stalks them.” – Victor Hugo, book

16. “Look down, look down, don’t look them in the eye. Look down, look down, you’re here until you die. Look down, look down, Sweet Jesus hear my prayer. Look down, look down, Sweet Jesus doesn’t care.” – Jean Valjean & prisoners, musical & film

17. “They gave me a number and they murdered Valjean.” – Jean Valjean, musical & film

18. “At the end of the day you’re another day older, and that’s all you can say for the life of the poor.” – Poor extras, musical & film

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19. “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.” – Victor Hugo, book

20. “I dreamed a dream in time gone by, when hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die. I dreamed that God would be forgiving… But the tigers come at night, with their voices soft as thunder, as they tear your hope apart, as they turn your dream to shame! … But there are dreams that cannot be, and there are storms we cannot weather! I had a dream my life would be so different from this hell I’m living. So different now than what it seemed. Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.” – Fantine, musical & film

21. “There is a castle on a cloud. I like to go there in my sleep. Aren’t any floors for me to sweep, not in my castle on a cloud. There is a room that’s full of toys. There are 100 boys and girls. Nobody shouts or talks too loud. Not on my castle on a cloud.” – Cosette (young), musical & film

22. “Now prisoner 24601, your time is up and your parole’s begun. You know what that means?” “Yes, it means I’m free.” “No. Follow to the letter your itinerary, this badge of shame you wear until you die. It warns that you’re a dangerous man.” “I stole a loaf of bread. My sister’s child was close to death, and we were starving.” – Javert & Jean Valjean, film

23. “Oh, my friends! My friends, don’t ask me what your sacrifice was for! Empty chairs at empty tables, where my friends shall sing no more.” – Marius, musical & film

24. “If there’s a God in heaven, He would let me die instead.” – Fantine, musical & film

25. “Despair is surrounded by fragile walls, which all open into vice or crime.” – Victor Hugo, book

Hope

26. “The day begins and now let’s see what this new world will do for me.” – Jean Valjean, book, musical & film

27. “Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.” – Victor Hugo, book

28. “‘The most beautiful of altars,’ he said, ‘is the soul of an unhappy creature consoled and thanking God.'” – Victor Hugo quoting the Bishop, book

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29. “I am reaching, but I fall, and the night is closing in, as I stare into the void, into the whirlpool of my sin. I’ll escape now from the world, from the world of Jean Valjean. Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!” – Jean Valjean, musical & film

30. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo, book; Cast, musical & film

31. “There is nothing like a dream to create future.” – Victor Hugo, book

32. “Red, the blood of angry men. Black, the dark of ages past. Red, a world about to dawn. Black, the night that ends at last!” – Enjolras, Marius & revolutionaries, musical & film

33. “Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes!” – Enjolras, Marius & revolutionaries, musical & film

34. “Beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see? Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!” – Revolutionaries, musical & film

35. “Citizens, in the future there shall be neither darkness nor thunderbolts, neither ferocious ignorance nor blood for blood…In the future no man will slay his fellow, the earth will be radiant, the human race will love. It will come, citizens, that day when all shall be concord, harmony, light, joy, and life.” – Enjolras, book

36. “In all his trials he felt encouraged and sometimes even upheld by a secret force within. The soul helps the body, and at certain moments raises it. It is the only bird that sustains its cage.” – Victor Hugo, book

Philosophy

37. “It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” – Victor Hugo, book

38. “Not being heard is no reason for silence.” – Victor Hugo, book

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39. “If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned!” – Jean Valjean, book, musical & film

40. “If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” – Victor Hugo, book

41. “My life he claims for God above. Can such things be? For I had come to hate the world, this world that always hated me.” – Jean Valjean, musical & film

42. “The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.” – Victor Hugo, book

43. “Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him – he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.” – Victor Hugo, book

44. “Nobody knows like a woman how to say things that are both sweet and profound. Sweetness and depth, this is all of woman; this is Heaven.” – Victor Hugo, book

45. “The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.” – Victor Hugo, book

46. “Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them.” – Victor Hugo, book

47. “If you wish to understand what Revolution is, call it Progress; and if you wish to understand what Progress is, call it Tomorrow.” – Victor Hugo, book

48. “To owe life to a malefactor . . . to be, in spite of himself, on a level with a fugitive from justice . . . to betray society in order to be true to his own conscience; that all these absurdities . . . should accumulate on himself – this is what prostrated him.” – Victor Hugo, book

49. “Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn’t every war fought between men, between brothers?” – Victor Hugo, book

50. “Great perils share this beauty that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.” – Victor Hugo, book

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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