Les Mis – Tragedy and Triumph
The Ravages of War
Javert has the opportunity to experience the divine nature of grace at the end of this battle. But by this time, his soul is too “perverted” by his distorted view of justice brought on by a personal rejection of the freedom found in grace and forgiveness. Forgiveness is not, it cannot be present in his personal ethos, because it destroys the foundation of his distorted view of adherence to law. Javert cannot forgive his own shortcomings and failures and he certainly will not forgive Valjean‘s “anti-patriotism” and rebellion.
Valjean: “…he bought my soul and God took away all evil thoughts.”
Valjean understood the power of God’s grace upon his life.
Javert: “There is no God. There is only Law, Guilt, and Innocence.”
Valjean: “If that is what you believe, then you must kill me. Kill me now.”
Javert can’t kill Valjean because his has become conflicted by his own “code of duties/beliefs.” He then commits suicide because he is so conflicted with his own inability to adhere perfectly to his view of justice. He cannot endure the emotional pain–it is too much to bear.
Les Miserables ends on a beautiful note. Death is certainly a part of life, but so is renewal, regeneration, invigoration, even revival. Marius and Cosette unite in marriage and Marius reunites with his maternal grandfather, M. Gillenormand.
Valjean to M. Gillenormand: “We’re all fools, most of our lives. It’s unavoidable.” Valjean affirms his humble state here. He still gets it. He knows his station. Thank you Valjean for being our role model–thank you for modeling the high calling of serving others.