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Victor Hugo Quotes on Man (56 Quotes)


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  • A man without a woman is like a pistol without a trigger; it is the woman who makes the man go off.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Success is a very hideous thing. Its false resemblance to merit deceives men.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • And, moreover, when it happens that both are sincere and good, nothing will mix and amalgamate more easily than an old priest and an old soldier. In reality, they are the same kind of man. One has devoted himself to country upon earth, the other to his country in heaven; there is no other difference.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Success is an ugly thing. Men are deceived by its false resemblances to merit.... They confound the brilliance of the firmament with the star-shaped footprints of a duck in the mud.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Can human nature ever be wholly and radically transformed? Can the man whom God made good be made wicked by man? Can the soul be reshaped in its entirety by destiny and made evil because destiny is evil? Can the heart become misshapen and afflicted with ugly, incurable deformities under disproportionate misfortune, like a spinal column bent beneath a too low roof?
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")


  • The poor man shuddered, overflowed with an angelic joy; he declared in his transport that this would last through life; he said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Every good quality runs into a defect; economy borders on avarice, the generous are not far from the prodigal, the brave man is close to the bully; he who is very pious is slightly sanctimonious; there are just as many vices to virtue as there are holes in the mantle of Diogenes.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • The straight line, a respectable optical illusion which ruins many a man.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Faith is necessary to men; woe to him who believes in nothing!
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • There are things stronger than the strongest man...
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Forget not, never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man.... Jean Valjean, my brother: you belong no longer to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I am buying for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God!
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • Win a lottery-prize and you are a cleaver man. Winners are adulated. To be born with a caul is everything; luck is what matters. Be fortunate and you will be thought great.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • From a political point of view, there is but one principle, the sovereignty of man over himself. This sovereignty of myself over myself is called Liberty
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")

  • A one-eyed man is much more incomplete than a blind man, for he knows what it is that's lacking.
    (Victor Hugo, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame")

  • Great griefs exhaust. They discourage us with life. The man into whom they enter feels something taken from him. In youth, their visit is sad; later on, it is ominous.
    (Victor Hugo, "Les Misérables")


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