|And so it has beeeen and so it's written on the doorwaaaaay to paradise that those who falter and thooose who fall must paaaaaay the priiiiiice.|
There are two parts of this novel that still stay with me -- a passage titled The Lark, in which Cosette is introduced, and the preface. Get a load of this preface, you guys. Lord in heaven. Victor Hugo was not messing around.
SO long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.
Take THAT any author who ever has to answer the question "Why did you write this book?"