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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JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Majestic_Picnob » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:57 am

I know this was just made by some nobody on the Internet and doesn't really mean anything, but I thought I'd share this (http://listverse.com/2009/12/04/10-vilest-villains-of-fictional-literature/) particularly WTF list of villains with you all. Thought?
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Aurelia Combeferre » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:42 am

I gotta disagree....for the simple fact that Javert isn't truly evil. Evil in Les Mis = the Thenardiers.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Trompe-la-Mort » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:04 pm

I think everybody here is gonna disagree... I think that even the Thénardiers are wrong on that list, seeing who else it contains (although I don't get why Iago is first and Aaron only sixth - I would say it should be the other way around as Aaron has really no other motivation than enjoying his evil doings, while Iago at least has some (petty though they may be) motivations)

As the person who compiled that list "only" put up a picture of musical!Javert I'm going to assume that the musical is the only thing they know and therefore they got a wrong idea of the characters.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby LastAmi » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:18 pm

But even in the musical you can't count Javert as being truly "evil". Relentless and obsessive, yes, but not evil. If you come out of the musical thinking Javert is evil, then the Suicide was done wrong, imho.

Also this quote made me chuckle a bit:
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.


No! That's NOT why Javert killed himself!
Last edited by LastAmi on Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Mlle_Alexandrie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:31 pm

On a completely unrelated note, Valjean is apparently the 4th most B.A. guy in literature: http://community.sparknotes.com/2012/04 ... literature
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Ulkis » Wed May 23, 2012 10:02 pm

Even if I considered Javert 'evil', he definitely wouldn't make it on my top 10 list of 'most evil'.

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

Postby Mlle Patria » Wed May 30, 2012 1:43 am

Valjean finally gets the drop on him, but refuses to kill him, even though Javert’s pursuit is the primary reason for several of Valjean’s family members’ deaths.

Am I the only one who doesn't remember this part? I mean, it's implied that something happens to most of his nieces and nephews because he wasn't there to provide for them, but that's hardly Javert's fault.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Enjolvert » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:50 pm

I don't agree with that at all. Like it's been said, Javert isn't really evil, he's just doing his job when you think about it. He could be regarded as an antagonist, but I certainly don't see him as evil at all. That's the role of the Thenardiers in the book.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Gervais » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:58 pm

I just want to now who thought he was more "evil" than Bill Sikes.
BILL-FREAKING-SIKES. Even using evil as a synonym for antagonist, an Inspecter versus a Housebreaker/Murderer (with emphasis on "Murderer"); who-the-what-the HUH?!?
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:30 am

Seriously. It's not like Javert killed Éponine or anything. >pointed look at the Oliver Twist equivalents<

That person obviously started the book, got bored after a page about the Bishop, and said they'd read it. Either that or they really, really weren't paying attention. Or were just crazy. HOW can you say that Javert killed himself rather than live in a world where good existed?! And how on earth would he have retained his job as a police officer so long if that were true, actually...>sigh<
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby AngesRadieux » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:09 am

Javert is so not evil! Everyone I know is determined to hate him. I had a friend's mother try convincing me that he's an awful person because he's so blinded. My dad sees him as just the bad guy chasing down Valjean. I've tried to debate it over and over, but no one seems to get it!

He's misguided, yes, but like Valjean throughout most of the novel he's only doing what he believes is right. It's just that most readers agree more with Valjean's sense of what's right than Javert's. His problem is that he just sees the world as completely black and white whereas perhaps other characters are more capable of seeing all the shades of gray. However, he includes himself in that black and white frame of mind. When he believes himself to have wronged Valjean by falsely accusing him of being a convict, he seeks punishment for his actions, which fits with his view of the world. In the case of Valjean, he's a convict who did something wrong and must be punished and in this case he did something wrong and must be punished.

Also, he can't know everything the reader does about the characters he pursues so relentlessly. He didn't know that Fantine actually had a child who desperately needed her or that she was, in fact, innocent. He's used to being lied to because most people would say absolutely anything to get out of going to prison. If he believed everyone claiming they were innocent, he would never have made any arrests. He also can't know that Valjean truly means well. He sees a convict violating his parole and trying to escape justice. He didn't see how truly touched he was by the bishop's mercy, and even if he did, again is inclined to see everything as an act because he's so used to liars.

And killing himself because he can't handle a world where goodness and mercy exists? NO! So. Not. TRUE! He was conflicted and couldn't handle the fact that there might be a flaw in the convictions he clung to so desperately. In fact, you could even argue that it was overwhelming guilt that drove him to suicide. Upon realizing that Valjean, a convict and in his world view inherently evil, is capable of kindness, it is possible that he realized that he may have brought pain and suffering upon countless other people who, like Valjean, were capable of being compassionate, merciful people even though in his black and white world they were labeled as bad. It wasn't that he couldn't handle goodness, it was that this particular kind act had the potential to completely invalidate everything he believed in.

So. Not. Evil! Misguided? Yeah. Narrow-minded? Definitely. But not evil. He was doing what he truly believed was the right thing.

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

Postby Courgette » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:31 am

Whoever thinks Javert is evil has so NOT read the Brick. For him, the law is everything, even more precious than his own life. Call him ruthless and cold-hearted, but evil? Definitely not. Which is why he prefers to take his own life rather than live in the debt of someone who he sees as nothing but a law-breaker, as it goes against his own principles.
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Re: JAVERT the third-evilest villain in all literature?

Postby Rachelle » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:54 pm

Javert has a twisted sense of morality and justice but in general he has a good sense of right and wrong. I think there are enough moments in the brick when that shines through. And he has a sense of humour "would you like my hat?". This list was clearly made before the movie. Even if it's based on the brick, no one in their right mind could put Javert on that list after seeing him pin that medal on Gavroche. I actually lost a whole lot of sympathy for valjean after i learnt that his sentence was only meant to be 5 yrs and he kept trying to escape a year before his time was up. You'd have though that he would have caught on that it didn't work.
And as for this,
"Javert’s pursuit is the primary reason for several of Valjean’s family members’ deaths."

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

Postby Gervais » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:05 pm

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

Postby Majestic_Picnob » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:57 am

In a bookstore I once found a "young-reader's edition" (meaning about 100 pages if that) that mentioned "evil Inspector Javert" on the back...
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