YoungStudentMarius wrote:Ooh, yes, it is, especially when you consider Valjean and Mabeuf as old men and mentors, of a sense, (if Valjean's kind of taken over the Bishop's role), and how they respond on the barricades, each offering a very different type of sacrifice, that, in a sense, comprises all of their being. And it's especially interesting if you think about Valjean as Cosette's surrogate father, and Mabeuf as Marius' surrogate father, and...well, it's just interesting, sorry, we're not there yet, I know.
The Wise Old Man must have the markings to show it. Though I really like the "purity" connotation.
For Fantine to see what Cosette was really like, in the environment of the inn especially...I think it would have killed her, literally, or metaphorically if her well-timed illness wasn't happening. Though if Valjean had brought her, he would have cleaned her up, put her in nice clothes, and she probably wouldn't want to talk about the Thernardiers, so that wouldn't hurt Fantine, though maybe the fact that she's almost a total stranger to Cosette would. Fantine does acknowledge Cosette probably wouldn't remember her, at least, so that probably wouldn't be too terrible.
Or worse, Cosette would have been scared of her, because she wouldn't have known the extremely sickly woman who won't stop reaching for her.
...None of these are looking to good. Though, thinking some more, I think anything except seeing Cosette as a beaten scrap or Cosette being scared of her would make Fantine happy, because she just wants to see her so badly.