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In both cases, the rich benefactor (Marius and Pontmercy) have chosen to look out for and assist their poorer brethern (Gavroche and Thenardier).
The difference is that Pontmercy does not reveal himself to Thenardier, and gives mostly financial support. Marius and Gavroche have a closer relationship, and Marius is a mentor to the boy as well as a financial supporter.
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