Inspector Javert Character Analysis

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Inspector Javert is a character whose personal philosophies may easily be related to ideas of other philosophers. As an inspector, he is working on the government’s side. While it is quite clear in the film that the government is not moral or ethical (to a certain extent), Javert feels that his job is extremely important and anyone who breaks the law is immoral and, in a sense, evil. Javert would agree with Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy that human behavior is controlled by imposing sanctions. Javert even tried controlling his own behavior by strictly following the law his entire life. He might also subscribe to Bentham’s idea that corruption is caused by lack of laws. Not only are laws needed but, as believed by Thomas Aquinas, they much…show more content…
Valjean committed a crime when he was a youth, but after nineteen years of hard labor, he has changed. He has made the choice to become a better person, yet society still sees him as a convict. He is a kind man and lives his new life in accordance with Moses Maimonides philosophy: that kindness, righteousness and judgment should motivate the moral life. Yet, no matter what he does, in the eyes of society and especially in the eyes of the inspector, he will always be a convict. While his character seems to be different from Valjeans, Inspector Javert also follows some of Maimonides’ philosophies. Maimonides offered sermons asserting that the purpose of life is to convert the potentiality of perfection into the actuality of it. He also believed that the highest facility of the soul is the intellect and its highest function is to discern the true from the false. Throughout his life, Javert has lived in accordance with the law. By never breaking any laws he feels that he is in some way perfect, always operating between the lines. Just as Maimonides feels that it is important to discern the true from the false, Javert does the same with good and evil. It is Javert’s belief that if a person breaks the law, no matter the circumstances, they are a bad person. His idea of a good…show more content…
In this sense, she embodies Hugo’s view that French society demands the most from those to whom it gives the least. Fantine is a poor, working-class girl from the desolate seacoast town of Montreuil-sur-mer, an orphan who has almost no education and can neither read nor write. Fantine is inevitably betrayed by the people she does trust: Tholomyès gets her pregnant and then disappears; the Thénardiers take Cosette and use the child to extort more money; and Fantine’s coworkers have her fired for indecency. In his descriptions of Fantine’s life and death, Hugo highlights the unfair attitude of French society toward women and the poor. Fantine’s fellow citizens criticize her for her behavior and depravity, but they also take every opportunity to make her circumstances even more desperate. Hugo’s portrayal of Fantine’s mistreatment distinguishes the honest, hardworking poor from the parasitic opportunism of the working-class Thénardiers. By juxtaposing Fantine with the Thénardiers, Hugo suggests that poverty does not necessarily equal indecency. In doing so, he condemns a system that allows the indecent poor to survive even as it crushes the honest and
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