| Quote #1
He packed up his things and raced out of the station. He was hungry and tired and had no idea where he would go. (1.5.44)
Poor Hugo really has no one at the beginning of the book. Uncle Claude is a total deadbeat and he doesn’t even know children his age.
| Quote #2
Increasingly, Hugo felt like he had to try. If he fixed it, at least he wouldn’t be so completely alone. (1.5.54)
In a way, the automaton is a stand-in for Hugo’s friends, or at least another presence to live with him in the dingy little apartment. But seriously, having a robot as your only friend is… depressing, to say the least.
| Quote #3
“I’m trying to help you. Why are you being so mean?” (1.8.21)
Hugo isn’t used to having friends anymore. In fact, he tends to rebuff any attempts to befriend him, and when Isabelle comes along, he even gets mad at her for trying to help him. It might take him a while before he's ready to accept help and affection.