Imagine spending your whole life doing one thing that you believed was good, then one day find out that you were completely wrong and you have not been doing good. This is what Javert found out through his journey of chasing Jean Valjean over the years. Would this turn your world upside down? Would it make you feel like your whole life was a lie? It did to Javert in the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, and is the reason why Jean Valjean is the reason Javert had no other choice than to take his own life.
When Valjean has Javert trapped in the barricade he tells him “you are free” (pg. 264) but the reality was that those words really made Javert a prisoner of his own mind. Javert believed that once a criminal always a criminal, and that all criminals wanted revenge and would do anything to get it. That took a big turn when he was proven wrong by Valjean when he didn’t take revenge on him and set him free because it went against all of his beliefs that’s why Javert told Valjean to “take your revenge” (pg. 264). because he knew he couldn’t live knowing he was set free by a criminal let alone the one he had spent most of his life trying to catch. After Valjean let Javert go he couldn’t understand why someone he thought was so bad would do something so nice for someone who could easily be considered an enemy in the eyes of a criminal like valjean. These thoughts ate and ate at him, they made him question if he had wasted his whole life doing the wrong thing. Was he the true