Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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Valjean and the Bishop are moral but dishonest while Javert is honest yet villainous. Can there be morality without honesty?

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I have to agree.  The dishonesty in these two characters is a dishonesty against a flawed system, but not against a system of higher morality (in this case, God).  Both men act out of a pureness of heart, which, in God's eyes, could be considered the epitome of honesty.  The lies which are told, the hiding that takes place, the changing of names, etc., all of these things seem trite when observed against the bigger picture of "morality," especially when that morality has been identified with God.

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Let me begin again; my post was obliterated when I edited.

Javert's honesty is a rigid adherence to the criminal justice system of his day: a set of accepted standards--a punitive, vengeful form of justice.  The pursuance of...

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write16,149 answers

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