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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

In this novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831), Victor Hugo talks about the life of his characters in the city of Paris. This story takes place in the late-fourteenth century. With inequality all around it was hard for a person to gain respect without good looks or social status. In this paper I will mainly discuss the story of Quasimodoe Esmeralda, and their struggle in this story Quasimodoe’s mother was a gypsy. She could not take care of him any longer so she left him in front of a church. Gypsies were not liked at this time, but the church was highly respected. Being it that Quasimodo’s mom had left him on front steps of the church the king could do almost nothing. Quasimodoe could not leave the church due to the fact that he was deformed and ugly. Quasimodo grew very lonely and bored up in that bell tower all by him self. He was looking down one day and set eyes upon a young woman named Esmerelda. On the day of fools Quasimodo saw this young lady and decided to go down and take a closer look at this woman. It was a holiday, feast of fools, when he decided to go down. When the people saw him they were horrified. He got whipped and lectured by his master. Well, to make a long story short Esmerelda ends up dyeing, and Quaismodo runs away and is never seen or heard of again. They state that in the end they find two skeletons lying in each others arms. One the body of a lady (Esmerelda), and the other the body of a man who was deformed (Quaismodo). It also states that the woman was hung, but the man died because he had come there by himself and died there.

There are many examples of Historical Significance in this book. One of which is the power of the church. The church mostly controlled everything back then. My second example is the way that they talked. They sounded more sophisticated back then. It states on page 139, “Sunday in the year of my lord 1467.” My third fact is the fact that they didn’t like gypsies back then. They wanted to kill all of the gypyses. It states in the end that they end up killing Esmerelda. My fourth fact is the way that they dressed. My fifth fact is that it states on page 65 that America had not yet been discovered. My sixth fact is the food that they had back then. It states on pages 98-99 “the next minute, there was on the table a loaf of rye bread, a slice of bacon, some wrinkled apples, and a jug of beer.” My seventh fact is the jobs that the people had. The mail characters had jobs like poets, bell ringers, popes, kings, and so on as it lists the kings servants on page 45. My eighth statement is the fact that when the people saw Quasimodo the women had to turn their heads. The transportation was mostly horses back then. The printing press was a big fear back then as it states on page 174, “it was the fear of an ecclesiastic before a new force, the printing press.” My ninth fact is the architecture had back then with all the cathedrals and what not.(fifth paragraph on page 10) My tenth statement is the fact that social inequality was a big factor back then. My eleventh and final fact is that all of this takes place during the restoration and romanticism and revolution period (1815-1850) as it states in our world history book.

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This book was a very good book. It only had a few problems. The author used to much detail and that made the story boring. He would also wander off and start describing something else more vividly. Victor Hugo should have kept just on the story of Esmerelda and Quasimodo. The end of the story was the best part. In all the book was an ok book.

This book was a good novel after all. It was an action and romance story that mainly consisted of two people, Quasimodo and Esmerelda. It reminded me of the short story Beauty and the Beast.


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