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Fantine is a fictional character in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables. She is a young orphaned grisette in Paris who becomes pregnant by a rich student. After he abandons her, she is forced to look after their child, Cosette, on her own. Originally a pretty and naïve girl, Fantine is eventually forced by circumstances to become a prostitute, selling her hair and front teeth, losing her beauty and health. The money she earns is sent to support her daughter.

Fantine
Les Misérables character
Margaret Bernardine Hall - Fantine - Google Art Project.jpg
Created by Victor Hugo
Information
Gender Female
Occupation

Factory worker

Prostitute
Significant other(s) Félix Tholomyès
Children Cosette
Nationality French

Fantine is a fictional character in Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables. She is a young orphaned grisette in Paris who becomes pregnant by a rich student. After he abandons her, she is forced to look after their child, Cosette, on her own. Originally a pretty and naïve girl, Fantine is eventually forced by circumstances to become a prostitute, selling her hair and front teeth, losing her beauty and health. The money she earns is sent to support her daughter.

Fantine became an archetype of self-abnegation and devoted motherhood. Possibly due to her status as an orphan, Hugo never labels her with a surname. She has been portrayed by many actresses in stage and screen versions of the story and has been depicted in works of art.