The Psychology Of Javert In Les Miserables

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

A psychological feature in Les Miserables is Javert’s obsession towards law and justice. On page 65 the text mentions “Jean Valjean. He was a convict whom I was in the habit of seeing twenty years ago, when I was adjutant-guard of convicts at Toulon. On leaving the galleys, this Jean Valjean, as it appears, robbed a bishop; then he committed another theft, accompanied with violence, on a public highway on the person of a little Savoyard. He disappeared eight years ago, no one knows how, and he has been sought, I fancied. In short, I did this thing! Wrath impelled me; I denounced you at the Prefecture!” Due to the fact that Javert was born in a prison from a fortune teller and a convict, Javert pursues law because he does not want to associate himself with “his disgraceful origins”. In his world, law has only two categories with no middle ground. Because Javert is ashamed of himself, he actively pursues Jean Valjean as a way to compensate for his past. Jean Valjean is Javert’s coping mechanism with himself, and if he catches Jean Valjean, it will further improve his own image. Therefore, Javert’s obsesses towards law and justice and pursuing Jean Valjean is linked to his shame towards himself.

A sociological feature in Les Miserables is the criminal justice system that the novel revolves around. On page 85 , the text mentions Champmathieu, who says, “I can’t explain myself; I never studied; I am a poor man. You are all wrong not to see that I didn’t steal. I picked up off the ground things that was there. You talk about Jean Valjean, Jean Mathieu– I don’t know any such people…. I tell you I never sole and that I am Father Champmathieu. I am tired of your everlasting nonsense. Why is everybody after me like a mad dog?” This showcases how unreasonable the people in society are towards the accused and how they let their prejudice cloud their thoughts. Champmathieu’s input was not put into consideration and they unfairly executed their opinions based on unreasonable accusations. Champmathieu is unable to justify himself due to society’s perception towards him regardless of that perception being correct. Lastly, because of the unfair justice system and the society that unfairly scrutinizes, Champmathieu is unable to prove himself innocent without the help of Jean Valjean.

A philosophical feature that is displayed in Les Miserables is justice. Justice is what keeps the world from immorality, no matter how cruel it may be. In Les Miserables, Javert represents justice relentlessly. On page 185 (Fanine), the text says “I had clean, decent linen, plenty of it. Have pity on me, monsieur javert… well i’ve listened to you. Is that all you have to say? Then off you go. Your getting six months, and the eternal father himself can’t alter it.” A gentleman was speaking rubbish to Fantine and put snow down her back, causing her to get angry and damaging his hat. Irrespective of what the story was, Fantine still “attacked “his first, causing Javert to impose a punishment for breaching society’s rules. Javert does not sympathize with Fantine, regardless of her being a single mother, with little money who has to to resort to prostitution to feed her child. In fact, Javert is so strict that even when he, himself commits a crime, he will not look towards himself leniently. Therefore, a philosophical feature in Les Miserables is justice, and justice is accurately displayed by Javert.

A stylistic feature in Les Miserables is symbolism, which is present throughout the novel. For example, one of these symbols are the silver candlesticks, that the bishop gives to Jean Valjean. On page 33, which states, “Jean Valjean was trembling in every limb. He took the two candlesticks mechanically, and with a bewildered air…never forget that you have promised me to use this silver to become an honest man…‘Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul that I buy from you; I withdraw it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.’ The silver candlesticks symbolizes good, mercy, and hope. When the bishop gives them to Jean Valjean, he helps Jean Valjean not get in trouble by the police, and buys Jean Valjean’s soul, causing the turning point of Jean Valjean’s character. Jean Valjean from then on tries to transform himself into a good person, with the reminder that his sins have been atoned and that he can now be a righteous man. Throughout the novel, the silver candlesticks guide him to do good and keep him promise to the bishop. Lastly, a stylistic feature in Les Miserables is the symbolism of the silver candlesticks the bishop gives to Jean Valjean, which helps Jean Valjean change as a person.


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