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Total Randomness (Brick-Related)

Please bear with me. My iPod's dead and I'm anxious about it, so I got this nervous urge to post something random.

What exactly do you guys think causes Fantine's death in the novel? It's always seemed clear to me that it's the shock of Javert's intrusion and the horrifying things he says - in her frail state she just couldn't handle it. But I've read quotes from three different people (one on Youtube, two on two other sites) who think she's killed by the blow to her head when she falls against the headboard of her bed. I'd always thought that detail was just incidental. Would Hugo really have gone to the trouble of giving her a dramatic, drawn-out, incurable disease only to then have her die of a sudden, random injury instead?

How do other people interpret that passage?

I am convinced that it was her frail condition and the shock of seeing Javert. Hugo describes every detail of her reaction to seeing Javert and compares it to dying already. He describes her like someone who is drowning, depicts her breath coming ragged, her arms and hands in cramps. her head hitting the bed doesn't even result in a static position but it falls back unto her breast, so it is highly unlikely that he wanted to describe this as cause of her death. The way he describes things, very thoroughly and even redundant, saying things again and again from different angles, renders it unlikely he told Fantines death in a half-sentence.
That's my interpretation and, of course, that of Jean Valjean who says to Javert: "You have killed the woman."
(all translations my own from the German edition)

If I choose one of the options, I'd say Javert's intrusion, but it's not soley him. I think the main cause is the fact that she was already dying. Like, if Javert didn't come in, she would have still died, Javert just sped it up.


Yes. I always interpreted it as the shock of the intrusion of Javert giving Fantine the final blow. She was already dying. Hmm... maybe I have to read the book again... It's in my bag, but I don't dare because it's in French. And French is like my third language...
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