The theme of childhood is omnipresent in Victor Hugo’s work.
The witness to miserable childhood, the admiring and tender father, the stubborn defender of universal education are expressed in courageous works of remarkable moral and spiritual elevation. These texts, whether prose or verse, are peppered with striking formulas whose sonic magic lingers in all memories.
This cantata evokes three aspects of childhood dear to Victor Hugo. The Parisian boy of Les Misérables is embodied in the person of Gavroche, a mischievous, ironic child who dies singing.
In the second part, the author recalls with tenderness the happy childhood of his two daughters. The yearning for universal education, a remedy for all social ills and obscurantism, is expressed in the third part, prophetically summed up by this final line:
“Every child we teach is a man we win.”