Famous Quotes Explained: « Neither despotism nor terrorism. We want progress on a gentle slope, » Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, 1862.
Victor Hugo was a French writer, poet, and intellectual of the 19th century, known for his social and political engagement as well as his significant impact on literature, particularly in the Romantic era. One of his most famous works is the novel Les Misérables (1862), which delves into themes of poverty, social injustice, and redemption. Hugo was a staunch advocate for the republican regime and human rights, expressing his political views through his literary works.
The quote Neither despotism nor terrorism. We want progress on a gentle slope reflects Victor Hugo’s political vision. He rejected both despotism, representing authoritarian and tyrannical power, and terrorism, associated with the use of violence to achieve political goals. Instead of these extremes, Hugo advocated for a path toward progress that is more moderate and peaceful.
By championing progress on a gentle slope, Hugo conveyed his belief in gradual social change and the improvement of the living conditions of the underprivileged through non-violent means. He believed in the importance of social and political reforms to combat injustice and inequality. This quote illustrates his desire to promote progress and equality while avoiding extremism and violence.
In the context of Les Misérables, this quote can be interpreted as a plea for a fairer society, where social and political reforms are implemented peacefully, rather than through force or repression. It embodies the idea that social change should be achieved without resorting to extreme measures that could cause more suffering and injustice. It also underscores the observation that violence from the government or its opposition ultimately falls upon the people.
Neither despotism nor terrorism. We want progress on a gentle slope
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