** In his classic novel, Les Miserables'; Victor Hugo depicts Javert as a character who is not simply villainous, but rather tragic in his misguided and self-destructive pursuit of justice. "[Javert] was a compound," Hugo writes, "of two sentiments, simple and good in themselves, but he made them almost evil by his exaggeration of them: respect for authority and hatred of rebellion." He is "absolute", a "fanatic". This fanatical absolutism allows him to divine a "straight path through all that is most tortuous in the world".
Javert is moderately educated; Hugo observes: "In his leisure moments... although he hated books, he would read." Reflective thought is "an uncommon thing for him, and singularly painful"; this is due to the fact that thought inevitably contains "a certain amount of internal rebellion", which Javert dislikes.
He is without vices, but upon occasion will take a pinch of snuff. His life is one "of privations, isolation, self-denial, and chastity. Never any amusement".
Javert has been described as a legalist, in that his "moral foundation ... is built strictly on legalism". He is "one of the most tragic legalists in Western literature" and "the consummate legalist".
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...