It's official. I have been reborn and see the light once again. I must find a way next year to read the abridged version of Les Miserables to my children and get them familiar with it!
We'll start with the music.
And then possibly the movie.
Personally, I have always struggled with Fantine. I have little energy for individuals who keep making bad decisions after bad decisions, etc. etc. etc. and then get to the end and exclaim their astonishment that life didn't work out as they planned. A lesson that is never, ever learned - to the detriment of generations to follow.
So it is with humble heart that I thank a wise cousin who reminded me of Hugo's deeper meaning. That even if redeeming qualities can never be found within the person, it is often someone else's sincere empathy for the individual that becomes the saving characteristic. Because the better person can see something that I don't & that in itself can be the salvaging trait. Overwhelming Christ-like imagery.
Therefore, while we study this story I will try to teach my children empathy. Because the people who oftentimes need it are frequently the ones you despise the most. Powerful lessons for us all.