Who Is Javert A Hero

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool” –William Shakespeare. In the book, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Javert is a man of the law, nothing more, nothing less. From the first time Javert and Jean Valjean met, he pretty much knew that was not going to be the last time. While I read the book, I noticed that Javert was going to do all he could to find Valjean but he let him slip a few to many times which classifies him as a coward. Now, I’m not going to call him a coward because I believe he is the best man in the book, but he goes against the law.

As much as he wants to stay true to the law by making criminals serve time for what they have done, he is unable to keep up with Jean Valjean’s actions. Throughout the book and the movie, Javert does his best at staying true to the law, but at the same time, is being a nice guy as well. Nobody likes Javert because he is considered the “villain” in the novel. For example, “He then turned to Fantine and said: “You’re getting six months. “” (Hugo 54) Javert doesn’t care what you did, whether you did something to save another person’s life, he goes according to the law.

Most police officers these days would give a little grace and work with you or get that person some help, but this story takes place in the 1800’s so there is no grace with anything. You do something wrong, you serve time for it. As much as I think that’s how it should be today, it’s still quite harsh because Fantine had a rough life. Javert was born and raised in the law so he doesn’t know any different just as I was born and raised in farming, we both take our profession very seriously.

In the movie, Javert realizes that he has been going against the law and not capturing Jean Valjean so he felt as if he should retire his job as said in this quote; “He will pay, and so must I – press charges against me sir. ” (movie). At this point, Javert realizes that the man he has been working under this whole time is the guy that he needs to catch and how much of a coward he is. I don’t know about you, but that is a very loyal cop that does everything he can to stay truthful and loyal to the law. We need more of these types of people in our world today but I hate to say it, that probably won’t happen.

Javert is the type of man that I want to be, so loyal to his profession that he wants to get punished for not doing one thing right. Lots of people like to cut corners, but not Javert. Not long after that, he goes about his job to patrol the town and does a better job at staying true to the law. Everything was done by the grace of God back then, so when Javert quotes “God be my witness, I never shall yield, ’til we come face to face” (movie) he believes that God will show him the way to Jean Valjean, which he probably will.

Towards the end of Javert’s timeline, he ends up putting himself down. He doesn’t do it out of guilt and remorse, but because he betrayed his society that he feels is unacceptable. Jean Valjean’s unconditional love for Javert and the rest of the community makes it hard for Javert to stay focused on what he is really after which makes him very confused. “I denounced you as a convict—you, a respectable man, a mayor, a magistrate” (Hugo 69). As much as Javert wants to be a man of the law, he lets himself slip a few times while trying to catch Jean Valjean.

Some would say Valjean was just really good at hiding, but I think Javert was doing it on purpose because he knew he meant well. Valjean had so much going for himself, why would he show up for court? I know I wouldn’t. Javert tried being the best he could at his job and stayed as loyal as he could to the law, but he couldn’t. I think he was just so overwhelmed by everything that he had a hard time staying on track. “He was troubled; this brain, so limpid in its blindness, had lost its transparency; there was a cloud in this crystal. (Victor Hugo).

As said in this quote, he was troubled, lost in its transparency. The law was pounded in him as a young child so he knew it very well but was very lost in himself. There are some things in life that I get very stressed out about because my father was rather adamant about. Those things in particular are the things that I screw up on because I try so hard at doing my best at. Javert secretly wants to be a good guy and let something slide, but he knows that it is wrong so that’s why he comes off as a jerk.

In the movie during the barricade scene, Javert is on the rebels’ side and tries to help them out by going to see when the army will be coming. “I have overheard their plans, there will be no attack tonight. They intend to starve you out, before they start a proper fight. Concentrate their force, hit us when it’s light. ” (movie). This is a prime example of Javert being a nice guy. He sees that the rebels are fighting for a cause and can sort of relate to it. I believe that Javert always wanted to go against the law and want more freedom in his life but because he was born in it, he was unable to do so.

To many people want to single out Javert as the symbol for evil, but in all, I think Hugo just made Javert as a regular human. As the book says, “Javert, you are a man of honor and I esteem you. You exaggerate your fault” (Hugo 69). Any good person out there will confess what they did wrong and correct themselves for that. Just as Jesus does for us, we confess our sins, and he forgives us. Javert sees every wrong move as a sin so he wants to make sure he doesn’t ever screw up because then he would be going against the Lord.

If Javert was considered the “evil” character in this book, then why would he do everything according to the law and God? The people who go against Gods command must serve time, so wouldn’t they be considered the evil ones? Although he really isn’t the nicest guy throughout the book and movie, he still never broke the law and lives by a strict moral code. I think that towards the end of the movie especially he realizes that he’s going against his morals so the only option he has is to end his own life because of despair.

Javert never learns to love, but, he does learn to learn from his mistakes. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new – Albert Einstien”. Javert shows many characteristics in the book, Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. In the beginning of the novel, he comes off as kind of a jerk, but as the novel goes on, I started to consider him as a better man for the various reasons I stated above. I hope that with the sources above, you too will realize that Javert is actually a better man than most people.