Both got tragic endings tearing my heart apart but the stories that George Orwell and Victor Hugo told me were the light in my darkest moment. They’re irreplaceable in my top two spots of favorite books. Just sharing excerpts.
“Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo (Translated by Charles E. Wilbour, Abridged/Edited by Paul Benichou)
Jean Valjean had never loved anything. For twenty-five years he had been alone in the world. He had never been a father, lover, husband, or friend. At the galleys, he was cross, sullen, abstinent, ignorant, and intractable. The heart of the old convict was full of freshness. His sister and her children had left in his memory only a vaque and distant impression, which had finally almost entirely vanished. He had made every exertion to find them again, and not succeeding, had forgotten them. Human nature is thus constituted. The other tender emotions of his youth, if any such he had, were lost in an abyss.
When he saw Cosette, when he had taken her, carried her away and rescued her, he felt his heart moved. All that he had of feeling and affection was aroused and vehemently attracted toward this child. He would approach the bed where she slept, and would tremble there with delight; he felt inward yearnings, like a mother, and knew not what they were, for it is something very incomprehensible and very sweet, this grand and strange emotion of a heart in its first love.
“1984” by George Orwell
If there was hope it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregard masses, eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated. The Party could not be overthrown from within. Its enemies, if it had any enemies, had no way of coming together or even of identifying one another. Even if the legendary Brotherhood existed, as just possibly it might, it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in large numbers than twos and threes. Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflection of the voice; at the most, an occasional whispered word. But the proles, if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they choose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it… Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.