Great question regarding a very complex character, though a difficult one to answer in such black and white terms. I perceive Javert as a man with a rigid morality almost completely lacking in compassion, such that it ultimately proved soul-destroying. He saw things so black and white that the paradox of the human condition, in which we are all carnally influenced though equally yearning for spiritual peace, was as foreign to his thinking as water flowing up hill. The evil represented by his character is that of “unrighteous judgement” in which a man’s verdict of another is based not on believing and hoping the best but only on seeing the worst. The saddest part of his story, however, is that even when his heartlessness finally dawned on him, he felt incapable of accepting the truth of it.
~We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer ~(Dietrich Bonhoeffer)