Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a Les Misérables binge, and as I unfortunately don’t have time to go back and reread the book, I’ve taken to reading its wiki page and fanfiction instead. In my search through the internet, I came across a term that I had never heard before in reference to the character Javert: anti-villain.
Unlike other villains in classic literature such as Iago of Othello, Javert is portrayed as a somewhat sympathetic antagonist with noble goals and viewpoints, arguably an anti-villain.
Until this point in time I had only thought about and been aware of the differences between an antagonist and a villain. I had never even considered a term like anti-villain, even though I’ve often thought about the differences between protagonists, heroes, and anti-heroes. All things considered, it makes sense that if anti-heroes can exist, there should also be room for anti-villains as well.
Les Misérables is still on my brain because it is such a fantastic movie and musical, I just can’t stop thinking about it. It certainly helps that the musical is chock full of Christian themes. One of the biggest themes Les Misérables shows is social justice.
Social justice, in a Christian context, in its simplest forms means care and consideration for the poor and outcast for several reasons. One, because Christ commands us to love one another and we are all created in God’s image, and two, because nothing in this world belongs to us; it belongs to God.