A hardened and streetwise criminal upon his release, he eventually softens and reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and mayor of a northern town. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive, regretted former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.
Valjean eventually gives himself up for the sake of his adopted daughter, Cosette, and her husband, Marius. A popular musical stage adaptation was produced in Info Print Cite.
Lacroix had bought the novel sight unseen, itself something of a rarity; more nail-bitingly still, Hugo had refused to reveal its length. Hugo insisted on a cheap edition apart from the usual fancy one for the ordinary public. The recent arrival of the steam-powered steel press, coupled with increasingly inexpensive paper, made this possible when it may not have been in previous years.
Even more crucially, as Bellos explains, the problem of rampant piracy was addressed by the first international copyright treaty: Signed in by France and Belgium, it put an end to the trade in pirated editions of French books, extending French copyright to Belgium and Belgium copyright to France. It also protected Belgian publishers from French censorship.
Brussels, therefore, was the safest place to publish a Hugo novel. But knowing that France was the primary market, Lacroix cannily sublet to a French publisher, thus cutting himself off from any potential censorship losses.
Lacroix returned to Brussels with the contract in his pocket and a strut in his step. But the next six months turned out to be sheer hell.
The harried publisher had to juggle typesetters, bankers, translators, lawyers, and, back in Guernsey, a querulous divo who railed against every incorrect comma change. Every proof had to be dispatched to Hugo and sent back through squalls and rainstorms, leading to anxiety and delay. Lacroix begged Hugo to move temporarily to Brussels; he refused.
Champfleury wrote in August that it had been "hidden in an attic for being too revolutionary". According to Albert Boime, "after the uprising at the funeral of Lamarque in June it was never again openly displayed for fear of setting a bad example".
Gavroche's death can also remind of the death of Joseph Agricol Viala , a child hero of the French Revolution. Like Gavroche, he was killed while adventuring himself on open terrain between two fighting forces in order to accomplish a non-hostile yet essential action for his faction. Mario Vargas Llosa calls Gavroche "one of the most appealing and tender characters in fiction", who, despite his relatively small role in the novel, "brings a breath of happiness and humanity a love of life, wit, goodness, and courage in the face of adversity.
His purity of spirit is strengthened rather than diminished by poverty, homelessness, and injustice. In his view, as Javert embodies rigor and order, Gavroche represents the unruly, eccentric, and imaginative.
Victor Brombert sees Gavroche as the embodiment of Hugo's themes of "the political implications of popular speech and popular laughter. The people of Paris are like this irrepressible child, with a "grim love of freedom and courage" but still in need of education and political formation. John Frey says that Gavroche possesses "a Gallic spirit l'esprit gaulois , unknown to the more serious child outcasts found in the novels of Charles Dickens, little Joe, for example, in Bleak House ".
In other words, Gavroche is cheerful and resourceful rather than a victim. The words of the song sung by Gavroche before his death are a parody of conservative views about the French Revolution: blaming all alleged modern social and moral ills on the influence of Voltaire and Rousseau.
Argot is the slang used by thieves, criminals, and others who live in the streets. Victor Hugo was one of the first to note the slang and write it down.
He uses the character of Gavroche to introduce the concept of argot to the reader. French songwriter Alain Boublil had the idea to adapt Victor Hugo's novel into a musical while at a performance of the musical Oliver! As soon as the Artful Dodger came onstage, Gavroche came to mind.