History Headscratchers / LesMiserables

16th Nov '17 7:51:05 PM sonar1313
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** Javert's career isn't actually that long. He's stated to be 52 in 1832, ergo, born in 1780. Too young to have served the Ancien Regime, which fell in 1792, or even to have fully grasped the consequences of its excesses. He would probably have started his career around the time the French Revolution was settling down and transitioning from the First Republic to the Empire. Most of his career takes place while France is under the rule of either an emperor or a king. While Hugo makes a thing out of the politics of the time (i.e. Marius's grandfather is a monarchist, Marius is for Napoleon until he's a republican, and that's enough to cause a big falling-out), Javert's politics simply favor authority - and therefore both Napoleon and the monarchy are perfectly acceptable. The Reign of Terror happened while Javert would have been 13-14, and that could've been a very formative event that impressed upon the young Javert that rebellions are bad.
17th Oct '17 3:05:45 PM SantosLHalper
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*I'm going to admit that the book probably covered this[[note]]I only watched the musical[[/note]], but if Jean was released in 1815, he would have been imprisoned for stealing bread in 1796, during the period of the Revolutionary Directorate, while the subsequent extensions all would have been during the reign of Napoleon.
9th Sep '17 4:43:42 PM nombretomado
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* Inspector Javert's career has encompassed the ''Ancien Regime'' of Louis XVI, the Reign of Terror, the Directory, The Consulate and Imperate of Napoleon, the restored Bourbon Monarchs Louis XVIII and Charles X, and finaly the July Monarchy of Louis Phillipe. That's a lot of different rulers and government forms. I can't believe that Javert managed to hold on to his invincible faith in the righteousness of Law and Government in the face of the Conspicuous Consumption of Marie Antoinette ("Let Them Eat Cake and all that), the Terror of the Jacobins and/or the Corruption of the Directors, continue to advance in his career, and still be alive, kicking, and still in law enforcement in time to become Valjean's parole officer, especially since Louis XVIII and Charles X weren't the type to believe in "truth and reconciliation." Wouldn't he have made more sense as a somewhat dour cynic who shrugs his shoulders when Valjean breaks parole, and rather than step forward to infiltrate the Friends of the ABC, simply be the one not stepping back, and overall behaving more like Benjamin from AnimalFarm?

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* Inspector Javert's career has encompassed the ''Ancien Regime'' of Louis XVI, the Reign of Terror, the Directory, The Consulate and Imperate of Napoleon, the restored Bourbon Monarchs Louis XVIII and Charles X, and finaly the July Monarchy of Louis Phillipe. That's a lot of different rulers and government forms. I can't believe that Javert managed to hold on to his invincible faith in the righteousness of Law and Government in the face of the Conspicuous Consumption of Marie Antoinette ("Let Them Eat Cake and all that), the Terror of the Jacobins and/or the Corruption of the Directors, continue to advance in his career, and still be alive, kicking, and still in law enforcement in time to become Valjean's parole officer, especially since Louis XVIII and Charles X weren't the type to believe in "truth and reconciliation." Wouldn't he have made more sense as a somewhat dour cynic who shrugs his shoulders when Valjean breaks parole, and rather than step forward to infiltrate the Friends of the ABC, simply be the one not stepping back, and overall behaving more like Benjamin from AnimalFarm?''Literature/AnimalFarm''?
5th Jun '17 12:12:47 AM pochabubbles
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* Why do the revolutionaries trust Valjean so quickly, besides the fact that they knew they were outgunned and desperate for any kind of help at all? This man shows up in an Army Uniform, claims to be a volunteer when the ''only'' previous volunteer (in the musical, at least) older than his 20s was shown to be a traitor, shoots a sniper in the confusion of the first attack (itís unclear whether he even kills that sniper or not; if book canon is to be believed, he didnít even kill the guy, just shot his hat until he ran away), and immediately asks for the custody of the traitor, whom he takes to the back and Ďfinishes off' without anyone seeing the kill take place, or the body afterwards. It is incredibly easy to imagine the National Guard pulling the exact same trick for the express purpose of rescuing Javert after they realize he mustíve been found out and captured, so it strikes me as odd that the students didnít even pause to think that maybe they should monitor Valjeanís activities more closely.
19th Apr '17 7:13:59 AM Raconteur11037
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*How the heck did the court know that Valjean stole the 40-sous piece from Little Gervais? Yes, he went back into Digne and asked around for him, so it could be surmised that 'someone' had stolen from the Savoyard, but IIRC he had already destroyed his passport, so there was no reason for any of the witnesses that day to suspect that the thief was Jean Valjean, if they even knew such a man existed. And that's not even getting into the fact that Javert suspected him of robbing the Bishop of Digne. Sure, we as the readers know that he did both of these things, but there would have been no report or evidence to speak of connecting him to either heist.
5th Mar '17 8:24:49 AM sonar1313
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** Javert is the kind of guy who puts duty and honor and truth (or his ideas of them) above life itself. Lying to save one's own life is what crooks do.


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** Valjean didn't check on anyone else because he went to the barricades for the specific intended purpose of getting Marius out of there. He's as single-minded as Javert: he's in it for Cosette's happiness and not much else, and now that he can literally put Cosette's happiness on his shoulders, it's time to go.
15th Jan '17 2:42:39 PM CockroachCharlie
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*** He doesn't need to be psychic. Even the gun is scared of Javert.
1st Nov '16 3:39:07 PM Morgenthaler
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** Maybe he knows a tad bit about weapons (handling with them somewhat regulary and such - I would not go as far that he is an expert, but...) - Thénardier's room is in a horrible condition, his aquaintances most surely live under the same circumstances - it is quite possible that the air is quite damp. And we all know how embarassing it gets when your gunpowder gets damp. Javert's not a newbie to his work. Is is quite possible he has experience on the field... or maybe Hugo just wanted dear Monsieur l'Inspecteur to be even more BadAss than he already was.

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** Maybe he knows a tad bit about weapons (handling with them somewhat regulary and such - I would not go as far that he is an expert, but...) - Thénardier's room is in a horrible condition, his aquaintances most surely live under the same circumstances - it is quite possible that the air is quite damp. And we all know how embarassing it gets when your gunpowder gets damp. Javert's not a newbie to his work. Is is quite possible he has experience on the field... or maybe Hugo just wanted dear Monsieur l'Inspecteur to be even more BadAss badass than he already was.
17th Jun '16 9:54:50 AM ImperialMajestyXO
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*** So was Valjean, he just broke parole. If Champmathieu had been branded and imprisoned there would have been some record of him and he should have been on parole. He could have said that he wasn't Valjean because he was this other criminal and here are his parole papers. It was the fact he WASN'T a convict and was too poor and too insignificant to have papers or literally anyone in the world who could prove that his life had happened and he wasn't just an escaped convict that made the mistaken identity happen. If Champmathieu were, in fact, another convict who had broken his parole then Valjean's act of self-sacrifice just becomes the stupidest thing ever. He would have saved Champmathieu from the terrible fate of going back to prison forever for breaking parole...only for Champmathieu to go back to prison forever for breaking parole. The only possible upside Champmathieu would have for going back to prison under his real name was that he might not be facing the death penalty like book!Valjean was for having robbed that kid after leaving the bishop.

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*** So was Valjean, he just broke parole. If Champmathieu had been branded and imprisoned there would have been some record of him and he should have been on parole. He could have said that he wasn't Valjean because he was this other criminal and here are his parole papers. It was the fact he WASN'T a convict and was too poor and too insignificant to have papers or literally anyone in the world who could prove that his life had happened and he wasn't just an escaped convict that made the mistaken identity happen. If Champmathieu were, in fact, another convict who had broken his parole then Valjean's act of self-sacrifice just becomes [[SenselessSacrifice the stupidest thing ever.ever]]. He would have saved Champmathieu from the terrible fate of going back to prison forever for breaking parole...only for Champmathieu to go back to prison forever for breaking parole. The only possible upside Champmathieu would have for going back to prison under his real name was that he might not be facing the death penalty like book!Valjean was for having robbed that kid after leaving the bishop.
8th Mar '16 2:01:09 PM CockroachCharlie
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** I just added an example in CharacterExaggeration relating to this (changed handles in the mean time). Basically, in the book, Javert thinks Valjean is dead during the entire time Cosette grows up, until their paths cross again. In adaptations, the chronology is simplified so that instead of extra escapes and recaptures, when his identity is exposed, Valjean ends up knocking Javert out and fleeing prior to rescuing Cosette. So, ItsPersonal to a greater extent for Musical!Javert.

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** I just added an example in CharacterExaggeration relating to this (changed handles in the mean time). Basically, in the book, Javert thinks Valjean is dead during the entire time Cosette grows up, until their paths cross again. In adaptations, the chronology is simplified so that instead of extra escapes and recaptures, when his identity is exposed, Valjean ends up knocking Javert out and fleeing prior to rescuing Cosette. So, ItsPersonal Its Personal to a greater extent for Musical!Javert.




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** Of the criminal major characters, Thernardier, is extremely slippery and dodges the police with ease. No need to have them around him. Javert is the only one in Paris who would even recognize Valjean as a criminal. And while he probably has the image of him burned into his mind, there are likely a lot of guys matching the description to and simply would not make a manhunt worth the while for what is ultimately a personal case of the one that got away.


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** Nothing in the musical states that Javert was his guard the whole time. Also, Valjean fled after the bishop thing. Javert didn't go to the same place Valjean was Mayor of (can't recall the name) until later.


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** Likewise. Marius was a revolutionary, but a nobody really. Not worth the work of arresting him and even getting a positive ID on one guy in a crowd.


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**** A lot of the details are easy to forget.
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