Javert ties everything back to his subjective former experiences; when confronted with similarities, he flashes back to an earlier instance – having doubts about the mayor, but recognizing him from his unusual strength when he saves the man trapped beneath the cart. He finds it hard to reconcile this new, forgiving, compassionate man with the brutal prisoner who skilled parole, but he’s so sure of himself, he risks his reputation by denouncing him. It’s his total inability to accept that someone can change for the better that keeps him hard on Valjean’s trail all those years (his inability to cope with inferior Ne). He does piece things together, but not offhand – meeting Cosette arouses none of his deliberate suspicions and he does not realize he was in Valjean’s house until his informant tells him her name. He’s an efficient tactician, shown in how he deals with the “violent student groups.” He assigns men to different groups, and switches them around so no one becomes suspicious of his informants. He also uses quick logical reasoning, such as when he realizes Valjean has no authentic passport, so he won’t pass by the Paris gates. He knows he therefore must climb the wall, so sends men around to look for “a narrow gap where someone could jump onto the roof.” He has a strong sense of duty and individuality, which wants to “do unto others” in a sense (he would not want his daughter seduced by a dangerous radical, so he wants to warn Cosette’s father). Once confronted with his own inability to let a good man go, he sees no other out except personal sacrifice.

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He sees corruption everywhere and feels intense scorn for it. He wants to keep every rule, because he feels it makes him better and makes up for his inferior birth (the son of a prostitute and a thief). Because he is obsessed with the letter of the law (rather than its spirit), Javert cannot let Valjean go – he broke the rules, he broke parole, he lied about his name, it doesn’t matter what he does “for the good,” he still needs to go to jail. And Javert wants to send him there. He punishes Fantine for stepping out of her place and attacking a high-born man. His hard edge makes his inferiors fear him, but his willingness to apply the same rigid methods to himself shows in when he demands punishment for denouncing the mayor (“I denounced you, spat on you, you ought to dismiss me”). His 9 wing brings a sense of detachment to him, further enhanced by his natural suspicion, logic, and guarded thinking (placing trust in “the law”).