Fantine’s story is very hard to watch in Les Mis.
She is a struggling single mother. She is mother to Cosette and Cosette’s biological father abandoned them leaving Fantine left to care for Cosette. So Fantine has an illegitimate daughter and during the time period, it is dangerous knowing you have a child in that situation. So Fantine is forced to leave her child in the hands of the Thenardiers, but little does she know the abuse Cosette will face. Fantine is very naive at times and she strongly loves her daughter and her love for her daughter drives all her actions. She eventually does find a job in Valjean’s factory, but gets fired after other workers and the foreman find out about Cosette.
So now Fantine is even more desperate than ever before. She does not have many options. She has to pay the Thenardiers or else they will kick Cosette out. She is so naive that she does not know that the Thenardiers are treating Cosette like a servant. With what little option she had, she sells her hair, her teeth, and herself to pay for Cosette. She sacrifices everything for the sake of her daughter and that is something I love about Fantine. Her circumstance led her to becoming a prostitute. Javert does not show her any mercy after she attacked a man in self-defense and just sees her as this prostitute. However, Jean Valjean comes to her rescue and seeing that she has a child and that she is deathly ill prevents her from being arrested. Even on her deathbed, Fantine still is thinking of her little girl and is still desperate about the care of Cosette. Valjean promises to Fantine that he will raise Cosette as his own, and that gives her peace and comfort for once.
Her storyline is very tragic. She has to give up everything just to care for her daughter. She just loves her daughter very much. She may be naive, but she is very loving. She is faces injustice due to having an illegitimate daughter and due to becoming a prostitute. The hope that Fantine has is that her child will end up with a better life and she finds that through Jean Valjean. He promises to raise her daughter.