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Jack Cornetti

Religion IV

1. Javert says that his view of justice is based in God’s law. Where in the lyrics does he tie
in his view of religion with his view of justice?
Javert’s soliloquy shows that it is Gods will that all criminals like Valjean must come to
justice. He states, “A fugitive running, Fallen from god, fallen from grace, God be my
witness, I never shall yield, Till we come face to face.” He believes that he is doing God’s
work. He also says, “He knows his way in the dark mine is the way of the Lord, those who
follow the path of the righteous shall have their reward.” He believes that through following
God, he will be successful.
2. It is often believed that when we run into someone who seems mostly evil, it is because
they have suffered strongly in their past. We do not excuse their behavior by saying this,
but we can understand why they have turned into aggressors or tyrants. I’ve mentioned
before that Javert’s mother was a prostitute and his father was really just a paying
customer. Why do you think Javert feels the way he does about right and wrong? Not to
justify him, but can you think of anything that makes you a little more sympathetic to
Javert and his worldview?
Javert believes so strongly about right and wrong because he grew up around poor and
unvirtuous people and saw the crimes they commit. The lack of structure and discipline in the
poor people’s lives could have shaped Javerts view of justice and that these unstable people
should be locked away for their sins.
3. Which do you think is more accurate? Explain why.
a. Javert’s justice is a good representation of justice, but must be balanced out by
b. True justice is something different entirely from what Javert believes.
I agree with option a. Javert is doing his job by capturing criminals but, because of uneven
weight of crimes and a weak criminal court in France, the people he capture all get sent to
jail. Since all criminals are sent to jail, Javert should be more merciful for petty crimes.
4. What was our definition of justice from class? How do you think Javert would define
Javert would define justice as the punishment or rewarding of someone.
5. Do you believe that it is truly God’s law that Javert is trying to guard, or do you believe
that he would feel strongly about the law either way?
Without religious intervention, I believe that Javert would still feel strongly about the law.
He possibly just uses Gods will to justify and motivate his actions.
6. What does Javert like about stars?
Javert states, “Stars In your multitudes Scarce to be counted Filling the darkness With order
and light You are the sentinels Silent and sure Keeping watch in the night You know your
place in the sky You hold your course and your aim And each in your season Returns and
returns And is always the same.” He says that the stars are the light in darkness. Javert sees
himself as the light, being a virtuous man, in the darkness, the criminals of France. He sees
stars as silent and honest. Javert models himself after them, trying to stay righteous and doing
his job.