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Code: Kozeta

[Hugo Victor]

Euphrasie, nicknamed Cosette (from "chosette", or "little thing") by her mother, is the illegitimatedaughter of Fantine and Félix Tholomyès, a rich student. She is born in Paris in circa 1815. After Tholomyès abandons Fantine, she leaves Cosette with the Thénardiers at their inn inMontfermeil, paying them to care for her child while she goes to work in the city of Montreuil-sur-Mer when Cosette is three years old. Unbeknownst to Fantine, the Thénardiers severely abuse and mistreat Cosette while she is under their care for the next five years. They beat her, starve her, and force her to perform heavy labor in their inn. Under the Thénardiers' care, she is described as "thin and pale," wears rags for clothing, and she has chilblains on her hands as well as bruised and reddened skin. She is forced to go barefoot in winter.[2] The narrator also states that "fear was spread all over her." While Fantine is in the hospital, the mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer—who is Jean Valjean masquerading under the name "Madeleine" to avoid being known as a paroled convict—vows to retrieve Cosette for her. Although Fantine dies before her daughter can be brought to her, Valjean becomes determined to look after the young girl.
When he arrives in Montfermeil on Christmas Eve, he finds Cosette fetching a pail of water for the Thénardiers. He accompanies her back to the inn and witnesses the Thénardiers’ mistreatment of her, as well as the unkindness that their daughters Éponine and Azelma show her when they do not let her play with their doll. After seeing this, Valjean leaves the inn and soon returns with an expensive new doll, which he offers to Cosette. At first Cosette is reluctant to take the doll, but then she joyfully accepts it. This makes Thénardier furious at Valjean, and Éponine and Azelma become jealous. The next morning on Christmas Day, Valjean informs the Thénardiers that the real reason he is at the inn is because he wants to take Cosette with him. Mme. Thénardier immediately agrees to this, but Thénardier pretends to have adoration for Cosette and acts reluctant to give her up. Valjean pays them 1,500 francs, settling all of Fantine's debts, and he and Cosette leave the inn. However, Thénardier tries to swindle more money out of Valjean by running after them and telling Valjean that he has changed his mind and now wants Cosette back. He informs Valjean that Cosette's mother had entrusted her to their care and that he cannot release Cosette without a note from her mother. Valjean, agreeing with him, hands him a letter signed by Fantine. Thénardier then attempts to order Valjean to either return Cosette or pay a thousand crowns, but Valjean ignores him and leaves with Cosette.
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