Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

The hunchback is Quasimodo. He was orphaned at the age of 4 and adopted by Claude Frollo. Frollo is an archdeacon at Notre Dame. Quasimodo is the bell-ringer. He loves the bells but they have left him deaf. He is also deformed. He's an outcast in Paris.

Claude Frollo is devoted to learning. And he falls desperately in love with Esmerelda, a beautiful young gypsy dancer. One night he attempts to abduct her with the help of Quasimodo, but an army officer thwarts their plan. Only Quasimodo is caught. Esmerelda gives him water and he also falls in love with her. He's never had much human kindness. But Frollo isn't giving up. And Paris society decides Esmerelda is a witch and must hang.

Naturally, being Victor Hugo, the book is a commentary on humanity. This time in Paris in the 15th century.

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