I have praised the musical Les Miserables on many occasions. And mused on the storyline many more.
It’s core message is that of forgiveness. Remember that the escaped convict Valjean cunninly steals silver cutlery from the Bishop’s home. Valjean is caught by soldiers searching for the escaped convict, and brought before the victim, the Bishop. However, instead of sending the convict back to prison, the Bishop instead lies to the soldiers, telling them that the cutlery was a gift.
And the point of the story is that this act of forgiveness preys on Valjean’s mind, and that, a changed man, his soul is “bought for God”. Forgiveness rather than justice therefore wins the day.
Thus Victor Hugo in his parable of forgiveness kicks off the debate of justice and forgiveness.
I have published a Muslim’s response to the forgiveness v justice debate, which you can read and listen to here
I once heard a mother of a primary school pupil advise that the way her child should be treated is to “lick his arse!”
Wrong, lady. The only way to treat bad behaviour is to correct. The older the child gets, the more problems you allow to develop.