Leah Libresco of Unequally Yoked offers an insightful response to The New Yorker critic David Denby’s pan of Les Miserables, in which Denby argues that “Saints don’t make interesting heroes.” The editorial board of Dappled Things holds no official position on the merits of the recent film adaptation, but Libresco’s post is a thoughtful examination of virtue as exemplified by the character Jean Valjean.
…we can see the fruit of making the right choice day by day. It’s not winning the right to a love interest and getting a big, dramatic kiss at the climax of the story. It’s the development of phronesis or practical wisdom. By choosing the right thing day after day, Valjean is strengthening his conscience so that the wrong choice feels awkward and alien to him.