The convict became a victim of circumstances. He was once a normal human being. He led a poor life with his wife, Jeanette, in a little cottage. She was ill and starving. He was out of work and had no money to buy food for his wife. So he stole money to buy her food and was caught by the police. He tried to explain to the policemen why he had stolen. But they laughed at him and he was sentenced to ten years in the prison hulks. The convict was treated like a beast. He was tortured and beaten. The policemen chained him like a wild beast and lashed him like a hound. He was fed on filth and was covered with vermin. He slept on the board and when he complained, he was lashed again. They treated him cruelly and took away his soul and made him a devil. They took away his name. Now he was not a man; he was a number; number 15729 and he had lived in Hell for ten long years. He lost faith in the essential goodness of man.
As for the church he began to hate church. He was so fed up with the society that he told the Bishop that he did not want any of his Faith, Hope and Charity. He considered himself a devil and told the Bishop that his efforts to convert him would fail. He lost belief in religion. He had no identity, no faith in humanity, no faith in church and religion.
Thus, a man who is brutally treated loses his identity and conscience. But it is the society which is at fault in making him what he is.