“To make the poem of the human conscience, were it only with reference to a single man, were it only in connection with the basest of men, would be to blend all epics into one superior and definitive epic. Conscience is the chaos of chimeras, of lusts, and of temptations; the furnace of dreams; the lair of ideas of which we are ashamed; it is the pandemonium of sophisms; it is the battlefield of the passions. Penetrate, at certain hours, past the livid face of a human being who is engaged in reflection, and look behind, gaze into that soul, gaze into that obscurity. There, beneath that external silence, battles of giants, like those recorded in Homer, are in progress; skirmishes of dragons and hydras and swarms of phantoms, as in Milton; visionary circles, as in Dante. What a solemn thing is this infinity which every man bears within him, and which he measures with despair against the caprices of his brain and the actions of his life!”
This is the third paragraph to the opening of the chapter where we find the fierce battle in Jean Valjean's conscience. What else can I say? The struggle between right and wrong deep in the sea of thoughts is an epic story. The path of reasoning and the number of excuses offered in each decision we have to make sometimes escape our attention, and yet we do it all the time.
The work of a poet is to express those unutterable feelings inside people's hearts. It's not an easy job, trust me. It's hard even to find the right word to express different shade of darkness of light. As a painter has to choose between infinite number of colours, poets must choose between indefinite number of words – or even invent the word – to be able to transfer feelings through his pen to the blank page of paper.
One of the most interesting thing I get from Les Miserables is this chapter – a chapter that explains the process of making decision. The duel between two thoughts is not less fierce than the duel between two knights or warriors in other books.
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