JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Any discussion related to Victor's Hugo's Les Misérables, in any language.
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Rachelle
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Rachelle » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:06 am

Gervais wrote:Yeah, the list is older than the movie by a few years; 2009.

That would be the writing of someone who slept through a lit class in college. That's the best explanation I can think of, anyway. Either that,or it was assigned reading in high school and the writer had qualms against all of the papers Javert caused him/her to write.

Now, maybe he could go on a 10 Characters With Questionable Behaviors list, or a 10 Characters With Questionable Reasoning, and so on, but he never has been nor will he ever be evil, at least in the Brick. Maybe in some adaptations (I've only seen a few, so I can't say) he comes off like that, which could be another explanation. And his participation in Fantine's death is pretty bad. But overall, he. is. not. Evil. :evil:

And I still don't understand how he's more vile than Bill Sikes.


Exactly, he doesn't kill fantine on purpose, he's just so excited by the fact that after all these years he has finally caught Valjean that he gets a bit carried away.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby freedomlover » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:05 pm

I would not call Javert evil. Misguided- very! But not evil.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Enjolvert » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:14 am

Even in his description there he doesn't give much that would scream villain to you when it comes to Javert. His character description comes across as much more misguided as opposed to villain like we've all been saying.
The law is unjust.

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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby coppertop1 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:23 pm

Wait? What? What the?

You don't even have to read the book or see the musical, just understand the character to know Javert isn't evil. Seriously. I haven't read the book, but I am obsessed with the musical (I would do anything to go see it!).

Javert is not evil. He is a cop. He is doing his job! Valjean is a criminal. Javert is unrelenting and stubborn. IS he misguided? Yes. Is he harsh? Yes. Is he evil? NO! Even Valjean knew that, "Ther'es nothing that I blame you for. You've done your duty. Nothing more". And in the book, Javert ASKS TO BE FIRED after he thinks he's transgressed the mayor, and Valjean tells him "You are an honourable man and I respect you"

Even in the musical, just listen to the song "Stars". Is that the song of an evil man? No. He wants justice. HE believes what he's doing is right and most of the time, it is, Valjean is the exception that proves the rule. He kills himself because he's stuck, he can't arrest the man who spared his life, but he can't just not arrest him.

The worst I wanna do is smack JAvert and yell "Valjean is NOT a bad person, there's such a thing as grey morality, GET THAT INTO YOUR HEAD!" and his death makes me very sad because he deserves better.

More evil than Bill Sikes?! Are you kiddging? Sikes was psychopathic, violent robber and MURDERER! The man had no good in him at all, and the kind of criminal who made even the Thenardiers look good!

Whoever wrote this list needs to read it for real, it seems like he/she rewrote the book in her head.

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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Gervais » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:36 pm

My sentiments exactly, coppertop. Care to introduce yourself in the Intros folder? :D
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby coppertop1 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:52 pm

Just did that :)

Really, the only way Javert can be evil is if you overlook the fact that Valjean is a convict.

Can't live in a world with good? Um. . .

"Those who follow the path of the righteous shall have their reward"

He's saying there are good people, and good people will be rewarded. He's a cop, he strives to protect the honest people. How can he not live in a world with good?

And let's not forget
"You know NOTHING of Javert!
I was born inside a jail.
I was born with scum like you
I am from the gutter, too!"

He was born inside prison, so it must have made him hardened.

Plus, yes he saw things in black and white, but guess what? The law is black and white, and Javert is the representation of the law.

To whoever made that list and had Javert classified as evil: You know NOTHING of Javert. For him to be classifed as evil isn't right, for him to be WORSE than the WIcked Witch of the West, or any of those other villains ranked below him? No. Just no.

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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Juliet24601 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:10 pm

I think personally that it is far more accurate to class Javert as an antagonist rather than a villain (Thenardier seems to more obviously fit that role in Les Mis, although even then he might be more of a symbol of a brutalised society).

One thing that struck me in the book was that right before he commits suicide, Javert makes a list of reforms he thinks would help the prison system - including the prisoners themselves. To me, that suggests that he is genuinely motivated by doing good in helping society - it is his idea of how to do that and his rigidity which make his actions so terrible.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby CosetteMari » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:37 pm

Well, like many here, I think that Javert is not evil, as many have said (or few?) that he is just VERY devoted to his work, the Law. If he wasn't obsessed, then he would be a normal Inspector, and we would not see him "evil". Anyway, to "short" it out: Javert is not evil. Period. (Well, this is MY personal opinion, 'cause I see him in my perspective)
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby humanracer » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:49 am

I think it does Hugo a disservice to catergorise his characters as being "good" or "evil". The great thing about Les Misérables is the complexity of characters such as Javert and Valean. I find Hugo's characters much more interesting than Dickensian ones, who tend to be rather flat (with the exception of Great Expectations).

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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Rachel » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:16 pm

humanracer wrote:I think it does Hugo a disservice to catergorise his characters as being "good" or "evil". The great thing about Les Misérables is the complexity of characters such as Javert and Valean. I find Hugo's characters much more interesting than Dickensian ones, who tend to be rather flat (with the exception of Great Expectations).


I wouldn't agree about Dickens' characters all being flat. Sure, a lot tend to be, but there are usually some fascinating characters thrown into the mix. Nancy, Sydney Carton and even Scrooge come to mind.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Purling » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:41 am

Juliet24601 wrote:One thing that struck me in the book was that right before he commits suicide, Javert makes a list of reforms he thinks would help the prison system - including the prisoners themselves. To me, that suggests that he is genuinely motivated by doing good in helping society - it is his idea of how to do that and his rigidity which make his actions so terrible.


Yes! That's the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this thread, and despite the numerous good arguments in here, I think it's still the best piece of evidence for removing Javert from that list. If making people miserable was a hobby or a way to advance his own agenda, he wouldn't try to get himself fired when he thinks he's accused someone wrongly. He's following what he considers to be the highest moral authority. He's obsessive and dogmatic and hostile and does bad things in the name of righting wrongs, not out of inherent evil.

What I find most curious about that list is how little time he spends on it. He just walks in, pens the note, and leaves, with no visible hesitation or consideration. Clearly they were all things that had occurred to him before. I would guess that he never brought them to anyone's attention because he accepted them as part of the legal system he revered. How much earlier might he have written it, and what else might he have done, if he'd been less fanatical? (Then again, that character wouldn't be Javert at all, would he?)

Mlle_Alexandrie wrote:On a completely unrelated note, Valjean is apparently the 4th most B.A. guy in literature: http://community.sparknotes.com/2012/04 ... literature


Unrelated, but not uninteresting! :) I wonder how many of this sort of list feature Les Mis characters?

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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby CeridwenLynne » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:28 pm

Evil? :roll: Javert is not evil. He is obsessive, harsh, judgemental, and believes that the law should never be broken or even bent and yet I can't see him belonging on this list much less at number 3.

The only Les Mis characters that I see as evil are Monsieur and Madame Thenardier. They are cheats, liars, thieves, and child abusers.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby LauraLeZunzu » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:12 pm

Javert isn't evil at all!
I think Hugo has a very highest view on humanity, and the only characters he thought they were more "evil" were the Thénardiers. I was talking with my mom about this (she's reading Les Mis right now), because she told me how could I like Javert, because he was "truly bad", because he didn't let live Valjean. That was right after Fantine's death, and I understood her a little because that is the moment I most thought: oh you bastard Javert!!
But reading the entire book (when he wants to renounce to be a police, understanding his poit of view and, most important, the end of the book, when he chooses suicide over taking Valjean and he leaves the note). I mean, he was wrong, but he was a good person. At least from my point of view. And my mother agreed that Hugo probably wrote the character to not be presented as "evil".

even though Javert’s pursuit is the primary reason for several of Valjean’s family members’ deaths. He releases Javert, who cannot reconcile this mercy with his conscience, and drowns himself in the Seine, rather than live in a world where there is good.


Oh my god, two of the most non-sense and insulting things I've read about the Brick! :| Family members? And that wasn't th reason for the suicide! I think if you only see the musical you can misunderstand javert (because there isn't the scene of he renouncing to his job...), and you need to read the Brick to understand.
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