Saturday 11 June 2016

The Conventionist

One of  the greatest novels of the world is Victor Hugo's classic ' Les Miserables '.
 That novel contains a chapter, a little after the beginning of the book, called '' The Conventionist ' or ' The Bishop in the Presence of a New Light '..I regard it as the greatest chapter in any novel of the world.

 It is about a discussion between a very old man who was a revolutionary in his young days, and took part in the French Revolution of 1789, and a Bishop. The old man had been a member of the French National Convention which had sentenced King Louis 16th to death in January 1793, and so he is described in the novel as The Conventionist.

 While the Bishop mentions the cruelties done in the Revolution, the Conventionist points out that the cruelties done by the earlier feudal regime were much more. He says that despite its failings and mistakes, the French Revolution was a great step forward for mankind.( because it destroyed the rotten, oppressive feudal order ). I entirely agree with the Conventionist.

 Please do read this novel

 The first part of the book has a central character Jean Valjean, while in the second part the central character is a young man called Marius, who joins a revolutionary organization called the ABC society, whose members are mostly killed in barricade fighting in the Revolution of 1830.

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