Hugo compares Fantine’s cramped attic dwelling to her circumstances. “The poor cannot go to the other end of their chamber, or to the end of their destiny, but by bending continually more and more.”

I suppose this is true even when there is no such severe circumstance imposed upon a life. When a life is in charity and lacks for the satisfaction of hard work earning a good living, the movement will still be toward a cramped corner. And what of the children that are raised in a pattern of entitlement without a good model? Being born in that corner, is it any wonder that they become frustrated? And I wonder what do such children have within them innately that positions them to receive a helping hand as a true help into another life despite the governmental system of poverty that holds them tightly?

This chapter is the saddest chapter in the book. I am glad to move on, but I need the reminder.