Victor Hugo once said:“The French Revolution, which is nothing more nor less than the ideal armed with the sword, rose abruptly, and by that very movement, closed the door of evil and opened the door of good.
It released the question, promulgated truth, drove away miasma, purified the century, and crowned the people. We can say it created man a second time, in giving him a second soul, his rights.”This can be seen in how the Revolution and politics tore apart his family leading him to choose sides in the revolution. The Revolution occasioned that his mother alone would raise him, which eventually influenced him to adopt the ideals of the revolution. The events of the Revolution and its spirit formed the life, beliefs and works of the famous writer Victor Hugo.
The French Revolution caused a lot of turmoil in Hugo’s childhood. Hugo’s family had a strong political background. His mother, Sophie Trebuchet, was a staunch Catholic Royalist. This put her in great danger during the French revolution and that was where she met Hugo’s father, Leopold. He was a soldier of the republic who was commanded to persecute rebels and priests. Together, they had three children: Abel Hugo, Eugene Hugo and Victor Hugo. As a child, Hugo witnessed the political pandemonium that saw the rise of the First French Empire and the dictatorship under Napoleon Bonaparte. Leopold being an atheist republican and an influential officer in the army of Napoleon acted as a source of internal conflict for Sophie. The opposing views and religious beliefs of Hugo’s parents were a reflection of the struggle between two major forces in France at this time. Sophie and Leopold’s frequent fighting and arguing provided a tumultuous environment for Hugo to live in. The…
…g how some would not care about the misery of mankind. When his sons Charles and Francois died, he didn’t want them to be buried with a crucifix or a priest because of what he saw the Church do to lower class people. He wanted the same stipulation to be applied to him when he died. Hugo’s belief in Rationalism is found in many of his later works. He believed in God, but not in religion. He later embodied the idea of being a freethinker. Hugo once said that, “Christianity would eventually disappear, but people would still believe in God, Soul, and the Power.”
The French Revolution prompted strife, destruction and a loss of faith in France. This is strongly visible in the life and writings of Victor Hugo. From the day he was born until the day he died, the Revolutionary spirit and the Revolution itself formed his style, beliefs and even wrote the pages of his novels.