Why is it that, when the mayor of Montreull-sur-Mer demonstrates strength that Javert has only seen from the probation-violating Jean Valjean, it convinces him that clearly some other guy must secretly be the escaped convict? “I’ve only ever seen one man who has the strength you demonstrate, Monsieur Mayor…so clearly that guy must be Valjean!”
2 thoughts on “This Always Bugged Me About Les Miserables”
He’s only seen this raw strength once before. It didn’t scare him then. It does now.
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Of course in the book, the rescue of Fauchelevent occurred before, not after, the arrest of Fantine, and the Mayor’s dismissal of Javert in that encounter is the last straw that makes Javert go report his mounting suspicions of the Mayor’s true identity. Six weeks later, the fake Valjean is found elsewhere, recognized by former chain-gang members, and brought to Javert, who admits it is him. He then goes to the Mayor and explains all of this, requesting to be fired for his seeming unjustified insubordination.
Which is bastardized into this in the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izuD30Cp5Ao