Section 3 - Marius
Book One - Paris Atomized
This section begins about eight or nine years later. It introduces the character of a gamin, a free-spirited homeless boy of the Paris streets who has transcended the predicament of poverty and claimed the city for himself. This particular gamin was about twelve years old and though he had a father and mother, they did not love him and he did not live with them. He was homeless but he was free. Every so often, however, he would go to see his mother. His parents, who called themselves Jondrette, lived in the Old Gorbeau house with nearly two grown daughters. Unlike the time during which Cosette and Jean Valjean lived there, the house was now occupied by several tenants. A very poor young man named Monsieur Marius lived in the adjacent room.
The chapter focuses on the homeless, abandoned children of Paris who survive on the streets. These children are known as "gamins" and their tragic existence is vividly portrayed.
Gavroche, the son of the Thenardiers, is a gutter child even though his family is alive. His parents did not want him and he became homeless.