They've been compared out the wazoo before, but have my two cents for Valjean and Javert.
(Sorry,the headcanon's making its way into this more than I originally planned. Take everything with a large helping of salt. )
One thing that I've noticed recently is that I see both Valjean and Javert being somewhat perfectionist, at least in my headcanon. With that said, I think Valjean isn't quite as strong a perfectionist as Javert is; Valjean is more open to shades of gray, and is more a perfectionist when it comes to what he himself does, while Javert cares not only about what he does but what others do as well.
Both of them are trying to make up for their pasts, to an extent. Javert is trying to make up for his 'disgrace,' whether for himself or for a higher power I'm not sure (Musical!Javert is doing it for God, I know, but I don't remember Brick!Javert's motivation). Valjean doesn't neccesarily try to make up for his entire past (except for the Petit Gervais incident), but he does try to better himself, which is also part of what Javert tries to do by enforcing the law. Valjean tries to better himself and others through God, and Javert tries to better himself and others through the law.
Their main difference for that bit, at least, is how they think to better the "others." Valjean is someone who thinks everyone deserves mercy, though he'll fight if cornered. Well, he'll fight than give you a lecture on how to better your life. Javert thinks thinks that the Others will be bettered if they follow the law. If you break the law, you are punished. Through being punished, and only by being punished, you can realize why you were wrong and work to make yourself better. (He's probably a fan of the Divine Comedy, come to think of it, but that's more of a meta discussion.)
Sorry if this is a bit incoherent or too much of a rehash of things that have already been said in other places, but this thread needed a revival.
'Integrity, sincerity, honesty, conviction, the sense of duty, these are qualities which, being misguided, may become hideous, but still they retain their greatness'
YoungStudentMarius wrote: Because of the separation from their parent, both also experienced poverty at one point in time, although it could be argued that they both would have experienced poverty with their parents as well, but I think it would have been a different kind.
Unnamed American History Textbook of Doom and Despair wrote:Royal intervention transformed Canada after 1663 when Louis XIV and his prime minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, took charge of the colony and tried to turn it into a model absolutist society--peaceful, orderly, deferential. Government was in the hands of two appointed officials: a governor-general responsible for military and diplomatic affairs, and an intendant who administered justice.
And then it goes on about how clever the officers were and how Colbert boosted the population of New France by sending pretty girls over, but that's kind of irrelevant.The governor appointed all militia officers and granted promotion for merit, not by selling commissions.
The duties of the intendant were to oversee justice, finances and policing in the colony. He also presided over the Sovereign Council and acted as a judge. He was also responsible for establishing regulations relative to the police, commerce, market prices, currency, militia, and seigniorial rights. Nevertheless, the intendant lacked any power over the military. He was answerable only to the Minister of the Marine.
Enjolvert wrote:One thing that I've thought before is that when you think about them, there are actually a lot of similarities between Javert and Enjolras. Both men may believe in completely different ideals, both men may have opposite backgrounds and both men may lead completely different lives, but ultimately they're men who are fixated and live for one thing: Javert for the law and Enjolras for the republic.
Ultimately, you could also see both characters as tragic heroes from another perspective, both with a similar flaw. After all, any tragic hero has to die because of his flaw. Both of their flaws are that their obsession with their way of life and what they live for eventually drives them to death: Enjolras because he fights against the government because of his belief in the government, and Javert when his world crumbles after realising that the law is not as clearcut as he thought it to be.
Obviously, as I said, both characters have major differences, but when looked at plainly, there's that massive similarity between the two of them.
Good thread though which I hope gets some replies.
M. Myriel was the son of a councillor of the Parliament of Aix; hence he belonged to the nobility of the bar. It was said that his father, destining him to be the heir of his own post, had married him at a very early age, eighteen or twenty, in accordance with a custom which is rather widely prevalent in parliamentary families. In spite of this marriage, however, it was said that Charles Myriel created a great deal of talk. He was well formed, though rather short in stature, elegant, graceful, intelligent; the whole of the first portion of his life had been devoted to the world and to gallantry.
Was he, in the midst of these distractions, these affections which absorbed his life, suddenly smitten with one of those mysterious and terrible blows which sometimes overwhelm, by striking to his heart, a man whom public catastrophes would not shake, by striking at his existence and his fortune? No one could have told: all that was known was, that when he returned from Italy he was a priest.
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