Les Miserables Themes

Les Miserables is a story, a very long story, which has been categorized as a classic. The story is about 1200 pages long. It is an epic saga, which covers about three decades in the early 1800’s of France. The film is about the fugitive, Jean Valjean, following his release from jail after doing nineteen years of hard labor for stealing bread. Jean Valjean is chased by the cruel and self-righteous Inspector Javert, in a lifelong struggle to evade capture.

The novel, Les Miserables is internationally known. That is because of its universal themes. These themes are: how society treats its outcasts, and how it views its criminals, prejudice, justice, doing what is morally right, and people can become better persons.
The theme -how society treats its outcasts- can be seen in how the poor and homeless are are treated, and that is like animals.

The rich treat them as though they are inferior and that they have no feelings or any form of intelligence. They are also not given the right to vote, which makes them not citizens of that nation.

This theme is universal because every nation in the world has some sort of outcasts in their land. In America, this theme can be related to the blacks. In the beginning of the twentieth century they did not have as much rights and oppurtunities as the whites. Another example of how this theme can be related to America is how a person with a southern accent is perceived as less intelligent, which is a false misconception.

The theme -how criminals are viewed by society- can be seen by how Jean Valjean is treated after he is released by prison. Although, he has served a sentence of nineteen years, he is still chased and wanted. In that period of time when a person commited theft it was viewed as a crime against the community and that person should be punished to the most extremes.

That theme can be seen in modern America. When a person commits a federal crime heshe cannot hold a public job or teach for the rest of hisher life. Also, when a person commits a crime, that person and that person’s career is scarred for life.

The theme -doing what is morally right- can be seen in many instances in the novel. One instance is Valjean gives money to free Cozzette. Another instance is Valjean does not kill Javert to save his life. Also, Javert lets Valjean go free. There are also times where people do something that is morally wrong, but lawful. One might be when the students are executed. Another might be the arrest of the prostitute. A present time situation might be soldiers killing other soldiers. It is legal, but is morally wrong.

In conclusion, the novel, Les Miserables, is a universal book with themes that many people from many countries can relate to. That is why it is put in the class of classics. It is also popular because it can be related with present time situations and events.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: Musical Play Review

Les Miserables known in English as “The Terrible” is a musical portrayal of the French Revolution. It is a musical tragedy, which served as a major powerhouse competitor for Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals in the early eighties and nineties. When first debuting on Broadway in 1987 it traveled a long hard road to compete with musicals of the decade. However, in time many well-known performers were proud to associate themselves with this wonderful work of art.

The musical play begins with its lead character named Jean Valjean. Jean Valjean
was released on parole after 19 years on the chain gang. In this initial scene the audience can almost immediately feel the tonality of the play with the constant reference to the number 24601. 24601 were the prison number that became Jean Valjean’s identity for 19 years. The dark and dreary ambiance set the tone for the first song of the libretto, “Look Down. The lyrics to look down coincide with the chain gang, overseen by brutal wanders, working in the hot sun.

It is this series of songs in Act one that take the audience through many turns of feelings and emotions. These emotional songs are used to portray poor men and women working in low class factories, women selling their bodies and more importantly a class of people struggling to scrape by. The most vivid songs used to identify the various themes of poverty and prostitution are Lovely Ladies, A Heart Full of Love, and Master of The House. Moreover, it is a song titled Do You Hear the People Sing? That prepares the audience for the ending of Act one. Most if not all of Act one uses song, tonality, character, pitch and tone to depict the various themes of the play while the story is beginning to unravel.

Throughout the second and final act the musical content within the play acts as a story of it’s own through theme and variation. Each separate song represents a feeling and or mood and is enhanced as it is varied throughout the act. Like the first act, the songs are used to portray poverty, suffering, hardships, and even death. However, unlike the first act, there is also a theme of love and happiness.

Closure is brought about with a sense of warmth and this is often heard through the display of the tempo. When the times were tough the tempo decreased and was often slow and morbid like. When happy times were brought about, the tempo increased to a song and dance farewell. The final song of the musical really brings the whole story together. The loose ends are tied and the audience’s hearts are left captivated and moved.

This musical would not be complete without the dramatization of the performers. It is each individual performer that brings song into the story. Each of the eight main characters represents, in a sense, their own theme and motivation towards the story. Without these characters the notes and chords wouldn’t bring about any music. It would merely be song without feelings or words. Each of them sings to sing to us in their own different way and exemplify their role within the story. Together these two important ideas make this play an excellent musical.

My personal reaction to this musical was surprisingly a good one. When my girlfriend first told me that we were going to see a Broadway play I wasn’t initially excited. However, after just about 30 minutes into the opening act I was beginning to recognize and comprehend musical terms that we had discussed in class. I then decided to be open minded and take notice of not only musical but also theatrical happenings of the story. It was amazing to be able to hear the tempo change, the timbre (tone color), and also identify the theme and variation. It was often difficult to understand the opera like approach to the play but all you needed was a good ear and total concentration. I found that I actually enjoyed Les Miserables and I wouldn’t be too quick to say no to another one.

The Grand Spirits of The Miserable: Javert and Valjean

The world is composed of light and dark. It is of evil and good, concrete and abstract, black and white, planes and curves, stark and subtle.

Like the faces of the coin, these opposing forces can never fully merge into the other, yet as separate entities, they make up a singular material which cannot do without one of the two missing.

This is Les Miserables, a never ending search for freedom which can only be the fruit of acceptance.

This is Les Miserables.

The obsessed law man and the saintly criminal.

The good who is not so good and the bad who is not all that bad.

The hunter versus the hunted.

Prey versus predator.

Two grand and similar spirits that cannot exist as one, bound by the constraints of misinterpreted honor and the chains of the past.

Javert, born in jail, saw himself as an ostracized adolescent with but two paths open to him. He could choose either to be a policeman or a criminal. He chose to be on the right side of the law. Valjean, a peasant, spent time in jail as a young man and came out of it hating society. He believed himself to be apart from it, and chose to live in hatred and crime. Fortunately, the action of a kindly old bishop prevented him from wasting the rest of his life. Valjean switched to tread the path of life on a more morally upright road. He became mayor, protector of society.

When certain events occured in Montreuil, both of them took similar actions. Javert, thinking he had unfairly denounced the mayor, revealed his actions to the latter and fully anticipated being removed from his position as police inspector and assigned to a lowly job. Valjert is also plagued by his conscience. He could not let an innocent man take the blame for his sins. Like Javert, he expected to lose everything. At the end of this particular episode Javert retains his position and Valjean lives in seclusion in a convent as gardener.
Both men become prisoners of the other at one time or another in the novel. Valjean becomes Javert’s prisoner in Paris. Then Javert becomes Valjean’s prisoner at the barricade in Rue de la Chanvrerie but is freed. Then when Javert catches Valjean by the sewers, he frees him in return.

In my point of view one of the most emotional and intellectual parts of the novel is Javert’s suicide. It is the ultimate freedom from a life in which, although he has been continually capturing and chasing and imprisoning, he has been the one ultimate slave. He chose to end his life because the fact has dawned upon him that the life he chose to live, although righteous in the eyes of others, was not entirely correct. He has become a harsh and cruel man. He has seen the error of his ways when he viewed it as too late. Valjean’s own death is almost suicidal too in that he just allowed himself to waste away.

In death, there is no denying that these two great and moving characters are the same. One’s body ends up under a laundress’ boat and the other, in an unmarked grave.
These two great characters, such strong and powerful figures of men, will forever be recalled whenever one thinks of Les Miserables, for they were truly one with the miserable.
They were freemen in bondage, both seeking blindly in life for that something they cannot even dare to perceive. They were looking for a missing necessity which they do not even know they lacked.

And in death they claimed what was rightfully theirs at the start.


They will never be slaves again.

Never again will they be les miserables.

Society in “Les Miserables”

In Les Miserables, Victor Hugo portrays human nature in a neutral state. Humans are born with neither good nor bad instincts, but rather society affects our actions and thoughts. Hugo portrays the neutral state of mind through Jean Valjean and Cosette. The two extremes of good and evil are represented through Thnardier and the bishop. Good and evil coexists in the society and affects Valjean and Cosette. It is the two extremes of good and evil that dictate the lives of Valjean and Cosette.

The bishop represents charity and love. Everything he’s ever had, he gave to charity. When the bishop first met Valjean, he said, “You need not tell me who you are. This is not my house; it is the house of Christ. It does not ask any comer whether he has a name, but whether he has an affliction. You are suffering; you are hungry and thirsty; be welcome. And do not thank me; do not tell me that I take you into my house….. whatever is here is yours.” (pg. 15-16)

The bishop didn’t look at him as a convict; he looked at him as a fellow brother. Later, when the bishop found out that Valjean stole his silver, he wasn’t mad, but offered all of his silver to Valjean saying, “Don’t forget that you promised me to use this silver to become an honest man.” Thnardier, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of the bishop. He represents the corruptive nature of society. He’s the one that changes people for the bad. An example of how Thnardier represents greed and evil is how he mistreated Cosette when he was taking care of her.

He made her wash and clean, while letting his kids run around and play. Thnardier took advantage of Cosette’s mother, Fantine. He kept on asking her for more money, when in fact he didn’t really need it. When it was cold, Thnardier told Fantine that her daughter was cold and they needed money for a wool skirt. This was just an excuse to get money. Also, Thnardier billed Fantine forty francs to cure a fever that Cosette had supposedly contracted (pg. 56). Fantine had to sell her hair and teeth just to meet Thnardier’s demands. Later, she had to become a prostitute because she didn’t have enough money.

Jean Valjean was affected by society in many ways. Valjean was poor and needed to feed his family, so he stole a loaf of bread. Consequently, he was sentenced to five years in jail. Trying to escape, Valjean’s sentence was lengthened to nineteen years. The harsh treatment that Valjean received from prison corrupted the goodness inside of him and turned him into a bad person. If he wasn’t poor, he wouldn’t have had to steal. As a result, society beat down on him. Jean Valjean struggled to survive, living in poverty.

When he got out of prison, he walked twelve leagues from Toulon (page 13) to Paris, but the people refused to give him a room. Valjean went to all the Inns, but everyone, knowing that he was an ex-convict, refused him. After time, society changed Valjean’s human nature. He became good with the help of the bishop. At first, Valjean thought he would always be looked upon as a convict, so he was bad and stole. Valjean described himself as “less than a dog” (pg. 9; 1961 ver.) His last criminal deed was when he stole the coin from little Gervais (pg. 31). When Valjean became M. Madeleine and M. Leblanc, he was good and gave lots of charity. The bishop gave Valjean a sense of hope. He gave him a whole new life. Valjean couldn’t have changed without the help of the bishop.

Cosette was affected by human nature in many ways as well. She experienced both goodness and evil. At first, Cosette’s environment was harsh, therefore, she was harsh. When Cosette lived with Thnardier, she was deprived of her childhood. Cosette was forced to do all the chores. Thinking that she was a slave child, Cosette had low self-esteem and thought of herself as displeasing and ugly. When Cosette moved in with Valjean, she realized that she was just a kid. She learned to have fun and played like the others. Being in a caring and loving environment made Cosette realize that she was in fact beautiful and educated. She also grew to love a man by the name of Marius.

Victor Hugo shows that good and evil coexists. Through the use of symbolism, he portrays the two extremes using Thnardier and the bishop. Through the use of these characters, he shows how society dictates the actions and thoughts of man. Man is born neither good nor evil. It is society which causes man to either be good or evil.

Les Miserables: Short Review

In his novel, Les Miserables, author Victor Hugo makes a strong statement about society being the cause for evil in man. Les Miserables is based on a poor man, Jean Valjean, who was arrested for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving baby. Valjean is sentenced to 20 years for his crime, and, when he is released, he is shunned for his past, which he has more than paid for. Society turns him out at every turn for his past crime, and will hear no excuses for his deed. With this scenario, Hugo shows the cruelty of a ‘civilized’; world that would cause a man to suffer unending prejudice for stealing a single loaf of bread to feed a small child.

As the ill treatment continues, Valjean becomes more and more bitter toward society. He probably would have been pushed too far, and would have lashed out against his aggressors, if he had not been shown kindness by the church. Valjean was taken in by a kindly Bishop, who fed him and offered him a place to stay. Valjean, however, had already fallen partially from the light of reason and when all the others were asleep he stole the silver dinner ware and fled into the night. This act again can be blamed on society for Valjean, realizing that because of his criminal record he would probably never again be able to obtain a job and support himself, saw stealing the silverware as his only choice.

Had he not been caught and returned to the Bishop, Valjean probably would have been forced into a life of corruption. However, to his surprise, the priest told the police he had made a present of the silver to Valjean. He even gave Valjean the two silver candlesticks he had not taken. When the police left, the Bishop explained his action, saying that with his act of kindness, he had bought Valjean’s soul for god and that Valjean must now live a life of good in return. Valjean was saved from his downward spiral of decay, showing the author Hugo’s high regard for some parts of the Church. However, Valjean continually tried to turn his life around, and although many times it seemed as if he had succeeded, his past and an ignorant society always caught up with him, forcing him to once again flee to rebuild his life.

Hugo also uses the Thenardiers as an example of society’s corruption. They may even be Hugo’s ultimate view of society’s problems. They are a family of despicable thieves and con-artists. They first appear when they agree to take in Cosette, but only so that they can later force Fantine to pay them endless expenses for Cosette’s well-being. Of course, the Thenardiers never intended for any of the money to be used on Cosette. Instead, they spend it on themselves and their own daughters.

The endless bills sent by the Thenardiers become so great, Fantine can barely support herself, because she sends all her money to Cosette. Eventually, the foreman of the factory learns Fantine has a daughter and no husband. Because of the society they live in, he and the other workers believe she must be a whore and she is fired. With no other choice, Fantine must sell herself to make money for her daughter. As the Thenardiers continue to demand more money, the stress becomes too great and Fantine sickens and dies as a result – yet another example of Hugo’s opinion of a sick society.

The Thenardiers next appear conning wealthy families into giving them money with letters of pity. One of their potential victims is Valjean, who had taken Cosette from them years ago. When he brings his donation, which the Thenardiers believe to be too paltry, they attack Valjean, until the police arrive and stop them. Unfortunately, Javert has recognized Valjean and he is once again forced to go into hiding to escape society’s prejudices.

As the story continues, Thenardier continues to appear and cause trouble for all around him. He organizes a small unsuccessful gang to murder Valjean. After their failing, Thenardier goes into hiding. He next appears in the sewers and charges Valjean, who is carrying a half dead Marius, to unlock the gate. Thenardier would surely have left them to die, however he did not recognize Valjean or Marius, both being covered in filth. Eventually, he did realize who he had seen and went immediately to Marius’s house to make one final attempt to ruin Valjean. Fortunately, his plan back-fired and he only succeeded in improving Marius’s opinion of Valjean.

Hugo created a more than adequate window into his view of society’s problems with Les Miserables. He showed how a civilized society can in many ways be very uncivilized. To show his beliefs, he uses the example of Jean Valjean, a man condemned to a life of running and hiding from the accusations of society, all for stealing a single loaf of bread to feed a starving child. Despite turning his life around and doing whatever he could to help those in need, he was still forced to run and hide whenever his past was discovered. He had been branded evil by society and nothing he did could ever change that.

Hugo then introduced us to a family that represented everything wrong with society, the Thenardiers. They exemplified the greed, deceit, uncaring, and corruption of society, constantly doing harm to those around them. Hugo does not, however, believe that society is all-encumbering, for he does allow Valjean to die happy. If one is strong enough in will and desire, one can defeat society’s corruption. Unfortunately, in Hugo’s view, few possess that strength.

Les Miserables Themes: Forgiveness, Self Sacrifice, and Courage

It is precisely of him that I wished to speak. Dispose of me as you please; but help me first to carry him home. I only ask that of you. Upon examination of Les Miserables, it is clearly evident that the elements of Forgiveness, Self Sacrifice, and Courage are only a few of the main themes Hugo wanted to develop.

First off, is the element of forgiveness. In a book of mistrust, poverty, and hateforgiveness thrives in the world of Les Miserables. The first example of this was at the very beginning, when Jean Valjean stayed with the bishop. Valjean stole his silverand ran off. He ends up being caught by police, but when the police questioned the bishop, he claimed to have given the silver to Valjean. Jean was confusedand the bishop claimed that with the silver, he had purchased the convicts soul, and had given it to God, and from that day forward, Valjean must be a good man.

Another example of forgiveness goes two ways. Javert, in his relentless pursuit of Valjean, is captured by revolutionaries. In reward for saving the lives of a few of these revolutionaries, Valjean asks for, and gets, permission to take Javert outside, and kill him. Once outside, a small monologue occursand Valjean releases Javert, and lets him go free. Valjean just wanted to be left alone in peace, and hoped this act of kindness would change Javert, and make him realize that Valjean was no longer the man he was. The second wayis that in the end, after Javert finally captures Valjean, he lets him go. Since Javert had broken the law that he loved so dearly, he kills himself shortly thereafter, by jumping into a river.

Secondly, we come to the element of Self-Sacrifice. This is also another widely used theme in Les Miserables. One such example of this element is with Valjean. He lets Marius and Cosette marry, and for a while, he seems all right with that fact. Later on however, he goes to Marius, and confesses to his past. He tells Marius his whole story, and thinks it best if he never sees Cosette again. Marius agreesbut allows Valjean the occasional visit. Only at the end, does Marius realize what a good man Valjean isand by then it was too late.

Valjean dies shortly after Marius and Cosette visit him to ask him to come back and live with them. Another example would be that of Gavroche and his supreme sacrifice. Gavroche is really Thenardiers son. but he was thrown out as a little boy, because he wasnt bringing in any money. So Gavroche befriends the revolutionaries. During one of the battles, Gavroche goes out to pick the pockets of the dead soldiers for ammunition. The soldiers fighting the revolutionaries immediately open firebut cant hit Gavroche. Thinking he is invincible, he begins to mock the soldiers aim.

But, he speaks too soon, and on his way back, he is shot in the back, and dies. And lastly, we have the sacrifice of Eponineone of the daughters of Thenardier. She is in love with Mariusunbeknownst to him. She follows him to the barricades, and while there, saves his life. She put her hand in front of a barrel aimed for Marius, and the bullet went through her hand, and into her body. Of course, this act moves Marius greatly. Eponine admits her love to him, and tells him everything she knows. Before she dies in his arms, she asks him to kiss her on the forehead when she passes onand she says she would feel it. Marius grants her wish.

And finally, we reach the element of Courage. The main kind of courage that will be covered is emotional and physical. The first example is when Valjean must enter Paris by climbing the wall that surrounds the great city. Normally, this would be hard enough for anyone. Valjean however, has one more problem added to this; he has Cosette with him, and she is still a small child. Once he finally reaches the top, and Cosette joins him, they must jump from roof to roof to reach safety.

They finally end up in a Convent, and fortunate for Valjean, it is the one where he knows the Caretaker. So, for the next few years, he and Cosette live in the convent, and have a happy life. NextValjean saves Marius from the barricades. During the end of the battle, Marius is wounded, the barricade is shot to pieces, and the soldiers are moving in to kill anyone who resists. Delirious due to being wounded, Marius begins to think that he should never see Cosette again. Valjean runs over to Marius, and removes him from the area, and escapes with him into the sewers.

As always, Javert is hot on his trail. After walking through a sewer for the entire day, Valjean and Marius escapeto find Thenardier waiting with the key. After cutting a deal to get free, Valjean thinks he is in the clearand then Javert shows up, and arrests him. Valjean showed great courage, and even in the face of extreme danger to himself, he still saved Marius. And finally, Valjean lets Marius and Cosette marry. He knows it will mean that he wont see as much of Cosette as he would like, and he would be lonely. But he also knows it will make her very happy, and in the end, that is all Valjean really wants for her. He does end up dieing because of loneliness in the end, but he dies knowing that he is loved, because Marius and Cosette come to him, and ask him to come backbut as stated earlier, it was already too late.

In conclusion, Les Miserables shows the main themes of Forgiveness, Self-Sacrifice, and Courage. It shows how a persons life can be saved by a simple act of kindnessand how a life can be destroyed by the absence of happiness.

Les Miserables: Review

Jean Valjean spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He made several attempts of escape and never made it but finally released.  His imprisonment hinders his chances of refuge for the night as shown at Digne where he is repeatedly refused shelter until he arrives at Monseigneur Myriel’s Jean Valjean spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread.  He made several attempts of escape and never made it but finally released.

His imprisonment hinders his chances of refuge for the night as shown at Digne where he is repeatedly refused shelter until he arrives at Monseigneur Myriel’s house, the bishop, and he welcomes him.  The bishop and his take very good care of him, but all Valjean does to repay them is steal their silverware.  Valjean also steals money from a little chimney sweep,Gervais.  The last time that Jean Valjean is a thief he repents and under the new name of Monsieur Madeline, starts a factory that brings wealth to the town of Montreuil.

Fantine who now a young mother has an illegitimate child, Cosette, and is on her way back to her  hometown, Montrueil, to find a job.  She entrusts the Thenardiers with her daughter so she does not have to go back home with an illegitimate child. Fantine finds a job in Montrueil at M. Madeleine’s factory and attains a limited amount of wealth.  Unfortunately things get worse for Fantine all of the sudden when she is fired from her job and,at the same time, must meet increasing finances for her daughter from the Thenardiers.

Fantine looks for money and does everything possible such as selling her hair, her central incisors, and then turns to prostitution.  She is arrested one day but is saved by Madeleine. Fantine moves in with Madeleine and gets very sick.  Fantine wants to see her daughter which Madeleine promises her that he will bring her to her before she dies. However, Madeleine has some problems of his own.  A man gets arrested under the name of Jean Valjean and is about to be condemned for his crimes.

After a night of deep meditation, Madeleine decides to confess his past.  Madeleine goes to Arras where the trial is taking place and Madeleine confesses to be Jean Valjean.  A few days later Jean Valjean is arrested by Javert at Fantine’s bedside and this scene kills her.The same evening Valjean escapes, but is quickly recaptured and sent to Toulon.  One day he saves a fallen sailor.  As he plunges into save him, he escapes by making the belief that he drowned.  He then goes to Montfermeil where the Thenardiers’ inn is located.  After burying his money in the woods, he frees Cosette by buying her from the Thenardier’s then they move to Paris.In Paris, he lives in the Gorbeau House.

Javert finally tracks him down once again but, Valjean flees to a convent where he sees an old friend named Fauchelevent who is a gardener there and who Madeleine has saved once before.  Valjean persuades him to take him as an assistant gardener there and to enroll Cosette as a student.  Several happy years are spent in isolation of the convent.  Jean Valjean sneaks out by way of burial.  Marius is a seventeen-year-old who lives with his grandfather, M. Gillenormand.  Marius’s father, Georges Potmercy, a hero of the napolionic wars, lives in retirement in a nearby city.  Marius’s father dies right before he see’s him, but no reaction was shown from Marius.

Marius leaves his grandfather’s house as a result of his father’s love that he wasn’t told about and his political views. Marius lives in the Latin Quarter and becomes friends with a group of radical students, the Friends of the A.B.C.  He switches his allegiance from monarchy to Napoleon.  Marius finally finds a good job, and with this helps build his satisfaction. He then falls passionately in love with a beautiful young lady in the Luxembourg Gardens, who is Jean Valjean’s daughter, Cosette.  One day, Marius gets very curious and peeps through a hole in the wall to the neighbors room and  sees the family living in poverty.

Soon after he witnesses the entrance of a philanthropist, so called M. Leblanc and his daughter.  To Marius’s surprise, the daughter is Cosette.  An attack was planned on Leblanc but Marius contacts police and on the instructions of Javert returns to his room with the two pistols that were given to him.  The plot of Thenardier and his 4 sidekicks fail as Javert comes in just in time to save Leblanc.  When Javert is arresting everyone, Leblanc escapes out the window.  Once again the young girl has vanished but, Eponine, Thenardier’s oldest daughter who is totally in love with Marius finds his sweetheart for him.

One day, Marius sees Cosettte from afar and finds the courage to tell her his love for her, as she does the same.  Marius happiness is again destroyed when Valjean finds out his daughter’s love for someone else and is horrified and they move.Marius is unaware of the political situation because of his love for Cosette.  His friend Enjolas directs the erection of a barricade in front of the Corinth wine shop.  Javert is found as an unmasked spy and the rebel’s tie him up to await his execution.  Marius decides to join in the revolution to seek his death.  He joins the fighting at the barricade since he lost his love again fights valiantly to the end.

Valjean gets out his old National Guard suit but like Maruis joins the ranks for the rebel’s after he discovered Marius’s and Cosette’s love for each other as he read a letter by a mirror.  Valjean volunteers to execute Javert.  Instead he spares him his life and, sends him away.  He then takes Marius, who is very seriously injured, and carries him through the sewers.  He gives Thenardier all the money he has to open up the gate for him to get out.  As soon as they get out, Javert arrests Valjean.  Javert then let’s Valjean go just as Valjean did earlier.  Javert cannot forgive himself of what he just did and then commits suicide by jumping off a bridge.  Marius survives and overcomes his grandfather’s hospitality toward marriage and then marries Cosette.

It is a horrendous blow to Valjean.  Valjean confesses his past to Marius and Marius doesn’t want to see Valjean much and eventually doesn’t see him at all.  Valjean’s life deteriorates and is dying because he hasn’t seen Cosette.  Marius still doesn’t know that Valjean saved his life in the sewer.  Thenardier for money reveals to Marius that Valjean was his savior and some other facts that Marius already knew about.  Because of Thenardier, Marius and Cosette visit Jean Valjean on his deathbed and then that makes Valjean a little better but dies.  Jean Valjean’s tombstone is written in pencil and eventually washes away, and becomes unmarked.

Victor Hugo’s handy work lead to tons of plots given in movies, television shows and even plays.  The Dukes of Hazzard, an older TV show, has Bo and Luke Duke always running from Boss Hogg, Rosco and Enos.  They always change cars or appearances to get away and they always get away, but if they get caught they let them go, but the police do not necessarily commit suicide, just get humiliated by Boss Hogg for letting them go.  Bo and Luke fit in with how Jean Valjean felt, always running and watching his back.  Javert would be like Boss Hogg, Rosco and Enos.

The bad guys who are after the good guys.  Javert would also be like the police that chased Smokey and the Bandit, another example of bad chasing the good.  Romeo and Juliet would be a great example of Marius and his love, Cosette.  Romeo of course would be Marius and Juliet would be Cosette.  Cosette is so beautiful to Marius and he is in love with her.  Any time they are apart it break’s each other’s heart.  They would do anything for each other and if it came down to it, die.

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame: The Evil in Notre Dame

In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, there are many interesting characters, However, I think Claude Frollo is a good one to talk about. In the book Claude is a priest who sees a beautiful girl and thinks unpure thoughts about her. Since he is a priest he feels he has to do something about these freaky thoughts he is having, so he tries to have her hanged by committing a murder and framing her. Then it turns out the victim really isn’t dead, but because times were so messed up back then they still convicted her of murder. The girl, Esmeralda, is a gypsy girl so a lot of people in the town did not like her. Although Claude Frollo is a priest he is a trifling man whose sexual desire turns him into an evil, scheming, obsessed man,ruining his life.

Claude Frollo was evil because of the things he did to Esmeralda and Quasimodo, the foster son he adopted when he was only sixteen. When Claude Frollo first saw Esmeralda dancing in the streets with her goat Dijali he yells obscene comments to her, because he is trying to hide the fact that he really wants her. He also used Quasimodo to try and kidnap her, knowing that Quasimodo would do anything right or wrong for him. He wanted her so badly that he came into her room one night and tried to rape her. He was touching her in ways that she did not find appealing “She felt a lascivious hand wandering over her body”(215), but Quasimodo would not let him rape her. He wanted Esmeralda hanged because he could not control his own passions.

The schemes of Claude Frollo were as stupid and childish as the schemes of any man who let his desire for sex control his life. In one scheme he and Quasimodo tried to carry Esmeralda off against her will… “A statue of the Virgin Mary on the corner enabled him to see the girl struggling with two men who were trying to stifle her cries”(29). The next time he tried to do something to her it was frame her for murder. He knew she had an appointment with a man and hid in a little room by where they were going. When they got there he came out of the room and stabbed the man she was with in his back. She was arrested and convicted of murder. She was sentenced to hang in the gallows. Claude Frollo’s schemes controlled his life and decided the fate of the little gypsy girl.

His obsession with Esmeralda also determined the hideous fate of his life. He was obsessed with her because of her beauty and because she made him feel things he had never before felt and things he should not have felt because he is a priest. He was considered obsessed because he could not be near her with out feeling psychotic:

His nights were horrible. Since he had learned that she was still alive the cold ideas of specter and tomb which had obsessed him for a whole day vanished and he began to feel the prickings of the flesh once more. Feeling the dark-haried girl so near to him made him writhe on his bed(213).

Claude Frollo’s obsession with Esmeralda is also clearly seen when he watched her being tortured he cut his chest with a dagger and when she screamed he plunged it into his flesh. He said if she had screamed again he would have put it into his heart. He would do anything to be with her. He offered to keep her from getting hung if she would be with him, but she did not want anything to do with him. His obsession is what caused him to be killed by Quasimodo. They both loved Esmeralda so when Quasimodo realized that because of Claude Esmeralda was hanged, he threw him off the towers of Notre Dame.

Claude Frollo’s obsession, his schemes, and his evilness turned him from a man passionate about being a priest to a man whose only passion was for a woman. This great change caused him to lose all the things he has ever loved. It caused him to lose his dignity, his respect, his love from Quasimodo, and all things in his life. The theme of this story is that against all odds true love prevails, and what Claude Frollo thought was true love really wasn’t.

Hunchback of Notre Dame – Theme

“Love is a universal language.” This popular quote from many movies and literary works describes the importance of love, and how there are no limits or barriers when dealing with love. Many people cannot even help whether or not they fall in love. There are many types of love and they need not be between members of opposite sexes. In Victor Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo’s love for Esmerelda is not as strong as his different sense of love for the Archdeacon, Claude Frollo. Quasimodo loves each person in a different manner, but is truer to the Archdeacon. The hunchback feels, among other things, a love described as Eros for the Mistress Esmerelda; whereas, for the Archdeacon the love he feels is known as Philia.

While Quasimodo is drawn to Esmerelda by her inner beauty and personal qualities, he admires the Archdeacon for his powerful position in the social structure of the town. Throughout the story, Quasimodo does his best to protect Esmerelda. Contrarily, he is protected by the Archdeacon. There are four types of love, only one of which involves a man’s physical love for a woman and vice versa. This type of love is known as Eros. It is defined as a relationship in which two parties are physically attracted to one another. Esmerelda, the gypsy, is quite beautiful. She dances in the midst of a crowd near a bonfire: “All eyes were fixed on her, all mouths hung open. As she danced to the rhythm of the tambourine which her round, delicate arms held over her head, she seemed to be some sort of supernatural creature.” (22)

Quasimodo is taken by her loveliness just like most other men. However, because he is deformed and hideous, Quasimodo’s physical attraction to the Mistress is unrequited. Nevertheless, this attraction is uncontrollable. Although he never acts upon his urges nor openly displays his affection, the hunchback feels the type of love called Eros for Esmerelda. Accordingly, he feels a different kind of love for the Archdeacon: Philia. Just as Eros as love stems from physical factors, Philia is a result of external factors. The Archdeacon is a man of God. He is considered the religious authority in Paris. Quasimodo resides in the Notre Dame Cathedral.

He takes a great interest in God, and apparently shares this interest with the Archdeacon. Quasimodo was taken in by Claude Frollo when he was quite young. The two men grew quite close together: “When the poor bellringer became deaf the two men developed a mysterious language of signs and gestures which was understood by them alone. Thus the Archdeacon was the only person with whom Quasimodo maintained communication.” (65) The hunchback feels a sense of love based on comradery and years of relations. He deeply admires Claude Frollo’s religious faith and charity: that is, the charity shown to Quasimodo when he was only a young, abandoned boy. The two men have a complex system of hand gestures and sign language which they use to communicate with each other. This illustrates their mutual correspondence and understanding.

Through these experiences and this upbringing, Quasimodo develops a Philial love for the Archdeacon. In the timeframe of this story, the late 1400’s and early 1500’s, the Catholic Church is a major factor and authority in virtually all of a town’s laws, transactions and business. This being the case, holding the position as Archdeacon, or head of the church, is a much coveted occupation. Quasimodo admires the Archdeacon’s powerful position. The hunchback himself enjoys authority as he possesses the power of rule over people. This is visible when he is elected Pope of Fools:

Quasimodo let himself be decked out in them with a kind of proud docility. He was then made to sit down on a brightly colored litter. Twelve officers of the Brotherhood of Fools lifted it to their shoulders. A bitter and haughty joy spread over the gloomy face of the Cyclops [Quasimodo] as he saw under his deformed feet the heads of all those handsome, straight and well- made men. (17) It is evident that he is happy to be exalted among normal men, even if only for one night and he is chosen because he wins an ugliness contest. Since Claude Frollo holds such a praiseworthy position, the hunchback respects him. He is also honored that such a figure as the Archdeacon even associates with he, a measly and horrid bell ringer.

As opposed to the Archdeacon, Esmerelda holds no real power or authority. Rather she has the ability to see beyond the exterior appearance of something, and learn about its true value. She accomplishes this with Quasimodo. At first, she is repelled by his terrible ugliness. The gypsy “often reproached herself for not being grateful enough to blind herself to his appearance but, try as she might, she could not accustom herself to him. He was too ugly (206).” Eventually, however, she overcomes her aversion to his appearance. She realizes that he is a caring and compassionate human being. He has feelings, he loves, and he can be loved. Quasimodo discovers Esmerelda’s ability to view someone from a different perspective. He also becomes aware than she is a decent and caring person on the inside, despite her reactions to his grotesque appearance.

He then feels a sense of kinship and a deeper sort of love towards the Mistress that transcends Eros love. Esmerelda is guilty of committing a grave transgression. She is sentenced to be hanged. Just before the platform is dropped from beneath her feet and her life ended, Quasimodo appears and strikes the two guards. Esmerelda is free. He brings her to the Cathedral as a sanctuary to take refuge in one of the towers. During the length of her stay in the tower, she is completely isolated from the outside world. Quasimodo is the only person always present in the church. He takes it upon himself to be responsible for keeping Esmerelda happy and comfortable.

He brings her food, drink, any news and he does his best to answer any questions she may ask. One night, a violent mob, the vagabonds, wishes to enter the Cathedral and abduct Esmerelda. Quasimodo manages to fend off the entire mob until help arrives in the form of Phoebus, one of the King’s archers, and his squadron of soldiers. “Those who were not shrieking, those who were still alive, saw two streams of molten lead falling from the top of the church into the thickest part of the crowd, making two black, smoking holes in it,… Dying men, half burned to ashes, were writhing and groaning in agony.” (241) The hunchback throws stones, tools, anything he can find down on the attackers. He then sets fire to lead sheets. They become molten and the intensely hot liquid rains down, burning and melting the mob.

Such desperate actions are surely a sign of love and a willingness to protect Esmerelda. In contrast, Quasimodo does not, in any way, protect Claude Frollo. In fact, the opposite is true. The Archdeacon acts as a father figure to the hunchback. In turn, Quasimodo shows the utmost respect for Frollo. He takes punishment and scorn from Frollo, even when it is not deserved, and accepts it quietly. He does this while he is quite capable of defying the Archdeacon physically as he does with any other person that angers him: Quasimodo came up to the priest, looked at him and fell to his knees… Quasimodo remained on his knees, lowered his head and clasped his hands together…They then began a strange dialogue of signs and gestures,…the priest standing, angry, threatening and imperious; Quasimodo kneeling, humble and supplicating. Yet there was no doubt that Quasimodo could have crushed the priest with his thumb. (27)

This obedience signifies that the bell ringer is deeply thankful for the priest’s company and leadership. Quasimodo continues to show gratitude by obeying every command given to him by the Archdeacon. When the Archdeacon decides that Esmerelda should hang, even though Quasimodo loves her he could not defy the priest’s command: he sat quietly by and awaited the hanging. It is clear that this love stems from the protection of the Archdeacon through Quasimodo’s early years of life. This also exposes the fact that Quasimodo’s respect and obedience to the Archdeacon outweighs his feelings for Esmerelda.

Throughout the story by Victor Hugo, Quasimodo shows love to both Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy, and to Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon that took the hunchback into his custody. Two types of love displayed are Eros, to the Mistress, and Philia, toward Frollo. Quasimodo’s protection of Esmerelda is seen inversely through his relationship with the Archdeacon. The Archdeacon and Esmerelda have diverse qualities that evoke separate types of love from Quasimodo. In the end, the bell ringer’s relationship with Frollo supercedes his emotions towards the Mistress. The Philial and brotherly love triumphs over unrequited erotic love.

Hunchback Of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Everyday, the people of Paris are accustomed to waking to the bells of Notre Dame. Today, the 6th of January, was different though. It is to be a hectic and eventful for the ambassadors of Flanders would arrive to discuss the marriage of the price to Margaret of Flanders.

Coincidentally that same day was the Epiphany and the well-renowned Festival of Fools. As the citizens of Paris awoke, they assembled in the great hall with different expectations. Many came to watch the crowning of the Pope of Fools; others are anxiously awaiting the start of a melodrama. Astoundingly, the great hall is filled beyond capacity when tensions break and the crowd orders that the promised play to begin at once.

It is here where we meet an important plot developer, Gringoire the poet, who has drafted the play and as any good playwright would, is tremendously happy about his masterpiece. However, to his arrant horror everyone present in the great mass of Parisians losses interest in his production when the ambassadors and other dignitaries arrive with the archbishop.

Determined to have his piece performed, Gringoire pressures the four actors to continue. Unfortunately, his attempts are vain. Some time afterwards a crowd rallies together and begins the election of the Pope of Fools. The crowd becomes boisterous, even his own actors are drawn to the election. Soon Gringoire is left alone. His hopes and expectations vanquished, the storys playwright departs into the streets as the rest of the city parades its newfound Pope of Fools, the opprobrious, grotesque, Quasimodo.

As people of all ages presented their hideous grimaces in hopes of being elected Pope, the notorious hunchback of Notre Dame Cathedral was spotted amongst the assemblage and crowned the most hideous creature on earth. Afterwards, Quasimodo is raised above the crowd and is ridiculed. However, he perceives the crowd is paying homage to his crown. Penniless, without shelter, food and nowhere to turn, Gringoire continues to gape the streets wondering where he will get his next meal and cursing the people of Paris and their Festival of Fools. As he roams, he finds an interesting distraction, that of La Esmeraldas show.

The most beautiful of gypsies, this charming, slender young woman was perceived as a witch and sorceress because of her exotic show and well-trained goat. In actuality La Esmeralda was simply an extremely keen and generous person whose generosity and kindness left everyone she came in contact with entranced. Among the thunderstruck by her charms and resplendent beauty were the newly elected Pope, a distraught poet and a sinister and twisted priest.

From atop the shoulders of the masses, Quasimodo has an excellent view of the glowing Esmeralda as she performs her dances. Her astounding beauty immediately attracts Quasimodo. He is awakened from his reverie only when his transport comes to a sudden stop at the orders of a stern and feeble priest. Suddenly the massive Pope lowers from his thrown and hurls his powerful body at the feet of the slender old priest. Astonished by the humility of their Pope, the crowd fails to realize that they have lost their entertainment for the night.

Some time afterwards, we find Gringoire following La Esmeralda in hope that he might find some source of support. He is thwarted however when a tall, shadowy figure assaults the gypsy princess; and he is confronted by the powerful fists of Quasimodo. Like all damsels in distress, Esmeralda requires the help of a knight in shining armor, she finds her hero in the form of Captain Phoebus de Chateauprs. Meanwhile, Gringoire continues on his way meeting several beggars.

He fails to recognize his location in a very dangerous part of Paris. He is attacked and kidnapped by the same beggars. He is taken to the dreaded Court of Miracles where the blind can see, and the lame run. There he is told that the only escape from death was that he joins them as a member of slang, or a woman can choose to marry him. He fails the tests miserly but is saved when La Esmeralda is touched with pity as the noose is placed around his neck. She offers to marry the poet pitifully.

After captured by Phoebus and his archers, Quasimodo was arrested. Now, on the morrow of the festivities, he stood trial on charges of nocturnal disturbance, assault, disloyalty and resisting arrest. It was by no means a just trial. However, the judge and Quasimodo are both completely deaf. Evidently, this presents a major problem; Quasimodo is not only convicted but because of miscommunications is given a heavier sentence. Quasimodo was scourged for two hours, tidied on the pillory and finally fined. These edicts were carried out immediately. Worst of all, Quasimodo does not know his fate. Sure enough, the sentence is carried out with great promptitude.

Quasimodo was flogged and later placed on the pillory where he is mocked and molested by the public and even his master, that sinister priest, Frollo du Murillo who awaited the public execution for hours. Countless stones and pieces of pottery were hurled alongside with insults at the tortured beast as he pleaded for a drink of water. No other emotion other than abomination reigned in that place where just the day before Quasimodo had been named Pope.

Then, like a single star peering through a menacing storm, there appeared La Esmeralda wrapped in her white robe. At first Quasimodo feared she would seek revenge. Instead he found his pleas for water answered as she approached him with a gourd of water and placed it to his lips; just as a single tear rolled down his face. The time of his punishment expired, Quasimodo was finally released and the mob dispersed.

The timeline of the story now shifts several weeks as we encounter the courageous Phoebus attending a small party together with several women. As they converse atop a balcony, Esmeralda performs her dance below, catching the attention of the girls. Esmeralda is asked to join them. However, when she has her goat Djali engage in a performance where he spells out P-h-o-e-b-u-s. The ladies, because her of sorcery, are petrified. Nevertheless, Phoebus remains interested in the beautiful Egyptian girl.
During the Hunchbacks tribulation, Gringoire meets Claude Frollo. Frollo discovers that unlike the rumors perfused, he has not slept with Esmeralda and that her real interest was in one named Phoebus.

Later, Frollo discovers who this Phoebus is and persuades him to allow him to observe his scheduled meeting with La Esmeralda. Phoebus, not being the extravagant type, embraces some money and assents to the deal. Phoebus has made a tragic mistake. As soon as his doubts are answered, and Frollo is certain that Phoebus love is La Esmeralda, Frollo stabs the soldier in the back and leaves him for dead. When news gets out about Phoebus attack, it is whispered that Esmeralda had stabbed him herself. The insinuations soon get out of hand and she is taken to prison.

Esmeralda is sentenced to a public hanging after her penance is performed at Notre Dame. As she is taken to the porch of Notre Dame Cathedral, she spots Phoebus riding in the distance. He had not been killed. It was quite the opposite; the stab simply wounded him. Immediately, Esmeralda called out but it was hopeless, the assembled crowd awaiting execution was too loud. Consequently, she was cursed. What appeared most devastating was that Phoebus was alive during the trial but had said nothing, he did not wish to involve himself with such a trial.

Upon arrival at the porch of the Cathedral, the gypsy was placed before Frollo to perform penance. He instead offered her a proposition. She would receive her freedom if she would be Frollos lustful mistress. She refused to sign her soul over. Then as she was led to the gallows, her savior, Quasimodo, appeared. In a great show of strength, Quasimodo swings down from a rope on the Cathedral and swoops her off her feet. In a single bound, Quasimodo returns to the confines of the cathedral declaring sanctuary.

Despite the daring deed of Quasimodo and the safety measure he took to protect Esmeralda, Frollo would still find her. Using a master key, he entered Quasimodos cell and found Esmeralda. Upon discovering Frollo, the hunchback seized him and dragged him out ordering his master to leave. Though Frollo had been dealt with the vagabonds, he desired the sorceress to be placed under their protection. However, unable to hear, the hunchback perceived the mob wanted her execution. Quasimodo took immediate precautions. He had bolted down the door, and now defended his home with downpours of rocks and molten lead, and pushed over ladders. Likewise, the vagabonds perceived the onslaught as the churchs denial to their request and took equal precautions. The mighty hunchback killed hundreds below. Although the gypsy within her cell seemed unattainable, Quasimodo, upon his return to the room, found that she was gone.

Frollo, manipulating the dim-whited Gringoire through his debt, had given him the key. Frollo sent him in to convince Esmeralda that it was necessary that she disappear. The perfidious fiend led her to none other than Frollo de Murillo. Frollo gave his obsession a final chance. She would either die, or become his. But the brave Esmeralda valiantly escaped his clutches. Unfortunately she fell into the hands of the soldiers sent to quell the situation.

The following morning, as Quasimodo continued to search desperately for his beloved, he came upon Frollo laughing at the scene below. Inquisitive, Quasimodo looked down to find Esmeralda, just as she was hanged. In a rage Quasimodo lifts Frollo and sends his former master hurtling through the air to the street below.

After the death of his master and his beloved, Quasimodo was never seen again. Years later, the vault where several bodies were interred was opened and a womans skeleton was found together with that of a deformed male. The woman had a silk pouch around her neck, analogous to Esmeraldas!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Book Report

I. Setting

Paris 1482

II. Characters

Quasimodo ‑ protagonist. Hideously deformed with a hump on a back, protrusion from his chest, and a large wart covering one eye. Abandoned when he was a chile at Notre Dame. He was adopted by the archdeacon who attempted to make him a scholar even though hes deaf.

Archdeacon Claude Frollo ‑ priest at Notre Dame who adopted Quasimodo. Intelligent, compassionate and always destined for the church. He loves his brother Jehan and tries to take care of him as their parents are dead. He attempts to mold Quasimodo into a scholar. He also has an obsessive lust for La Esmerelda.

La Esmerelda ‑ Lost daughter of Sister Gudule. She is a mesmerizing gypsy street dancer. She is incredibly beautiful and capable of magical tricks. She wears trinkets around her neck in hopes that it will help reunite her with her lost family.

Pierre Gringoire ‑ playwright. Married to La Esmerelda to save his life. Sees most that goes on in the village.

Phoebus de Chateaupers ‑ captain of the Kings archers. Saves La Esmerelda only to watch her die later. Tries to seduce La Esmerelda as well as many other women. He is stabbed by Frollo and assumed to be dead.

III. Plot

The novel opens in Paris on the sixth of January, 1482 with the Festival of Fools.

The feast is not so coincidentally at the same time as the marriage of Louis XIs son to a Flemish princess. There are fireworks in the Place de Greve, a tree to be planted at the Chapel of Braque, and a play to be performed at the Palace of Justice. Though wanting to wait for the Cardinal, playwright Pierre Gringoire decides to appease the crowds riotous cries by instructing his actors to begin his original production of The Good Judgement of Madame the Virgin Mary. But the crowd is uninterested and begins focusing on a beggar named Clopin Trouillefou as he climbs onto the stage begging for charity. Gringoire tries desperately to interest people in the play, but all have lost interest…including the actors!

Finally the Cardinal arrives with his Flemish entourage. No one seems to mind his tardiness. A person in the audience turns the attention of the crowd to the election of the Pope of Fools. It is decided that the winner shall be chosen by sticking their heads through holes in boards and the ugliest wins. Its not long before the misshapen Quasimodo is chosen as the winner. He is hoisted through the crowd like some sort of hero as all shout, “Cyclops”. But Quasimodo cannot hear the chanting. Upon hearing that La Esmerelda is dancing outside the Palace of Justice, attention is once again turned to something new.

Just as Gringoire is wandering alone searching for food and a place to rest his weary head, he spots the Pope of Fools procession and follows it toward the Place de Greve. By the time he reaches the “sinister spot”, there is nothing left for him. Gringoire then spots a bonfire surrounded by mesmerized spectators watching La Esmerelda. Suddenly a man screams out, “there is sorcery at the bottom of this!” La Esmerelda runs to her imitating goat Djali in somewhat of a panic. The rest of the crowd is so taken with her that they pay no mind to the stranger. Then, Quasimodo and his procession enter the square and the stranger grabs him and orders him to his knees. The stranger is recognized by Gringoire to be Frollo.

Finding no place to lay his head, Gringoire resigns to following La Esmerelda. When she realizes she is being followed, Quasimodo attacks her. Gringoire sees Frollo lurking around and decides to try to save La Esmerelda. But before he can help her, Quasimodo knocks him out. Out of nowhere, the Kings archers appear and save La Esmerelda while capturing Quasimodo. Phoebus de Chateaupers introduces himself to La Esmerelda just before she disappears. Gringoire awakes with no clue of what has just occurred. He gets lost and ends up in the Cour des Miracles.

A few beggars attempt to mug him, but upon discovering that he has no money, they took him before their king. Their king was none other than Trouillefou, the man who disrupted Gringoires play. They are about to execute him when La Esmerelda steps forward and announces that she will make him her husband for a period of four years. She takes the stunned Gringoire home with her and it is there he discovers that she does not love him, she only wanted to save his life. She barely speaks, but only to ask what Pheobus meant. She disappeared into her room and Gringoire spent the night on the floor.

Sixteen years earlier, in 1466, Quasimodo was laid down in a special bed for abandoned children after mass. When the crowd sees the hideous child, not one wants to adopt him. Until Frollo comes and wraps him in his cassock and carries him away. Frollo s parents died that same year and he adopted his brother Jehan. Seeing Quasimodo being mocked by the crowd made his heart overflow with pity and he took him in because he realized that it could have been Jehan that was left there.

Frollo calls him Quasimodo because it meant half‑formed. Being brought up in the church, Quasimodo thought Notre Dame was his world. He grew very attached to the bells and slept next to them as a child. He became the bell‑ringer at fourteen and went deaf from the bells. He grew to be incredibly strong. He was able to scale the cathedral, even though he only had one operable eye. Frollo tried to instruct Quasimodo, but the ideas of mankind appeared skewed from him. He retreated from people entirely. His only love are his bells. He calls one of them Mary.

Even though they made him deaf, he loves them. He behaves wildly when ringing them because he can “hear” the reverberation. He sees Frollo as a father, he therefore has more power over him than even his beloved bells. Though Frollo is sometimes harsh with Quasimodo, he is submissive to him. Frollo grows more of a recluse as time passes due to the fact that his brother Jehan has not followed his footsteps. He secludes himself in a room in the tower to secretly practice black magic. To others, he seems like a sorcerer and uninterested in women.

Quasimodos attack on La Esmerelda and the Kings archers has put him in the court of the Grand Chatlet under Master Florian Barbedienne, who also happens to be deaf. The crowd finds this amusing as Florian attempts to question Quasimodo as neither of them knows what the other is saying. Florian assumes from the laugher that Quasimodo is mocking him and sentences him to be tortured.. When someone does tell him that Quasimodo is deaf, he thinks he has done something else and sentences him to an extra whipping.

In the Place de Greve, where Quasimodo will be tortured, there is a building called the Tour Roland where lepers or widows claim sanctuary. There are women bringing cake to Sister Gudule, who has spent the last eighteen years of her life there praying. She is famous for hating gypsies, especially La Esmerelda. She is compared with Paquette la Chantelfeurie who claims that Egyptian gypsies ate her baby and replaced it with a hideously deformed one. A woman bringing cake recalls the story and insists that Sister Gudule is Paquette la Chantelfeurie.

Not far from that scene, Quasimodo is being attached to a spinning pillory where a man begins beating him. Just yesterday he was being celebrated at that very spot. He tried to break free at first, but then resigned to being beaten and didnt even flinch. Two attendants wash the blood off Quasimodos back and apply ointment to it and then the crowd starts hurling stones at him obviously offended by him. He sees Frollo appear and he begins to smile. But Frollo turns away and allows the punishment to continue. Quasimodo begs for water but the crowd keeps yelling things at him. Then La Esmerelda appears and puts water to his lips. He is so taken with her kindness and beauty that he almost forgets to drink. The torturer then releases him and the jeering crowd disperses.

Nearly two months later, as Phoebus is charming young women at the house of Fleur‑de‑Lys‑de Gondelaurier, some of them spot La Esmerelda dancing and call her over. Phoebus does not at first recognize her until he spots Djali. When La Esmerelda sees Phoebus, she blushes. The young women are jealous of La Esmerelda s good looks and begin mocking her clothing. She remains silent and compassionately looks at Phoebus. They all notice Frollo watching La Esmerelda and comment on how much he hates Egyptians.

Fleur‑de‑Lys‑de Gondelaurier asks La Esmerelda what she has in the bag around her neck, but she will not tell her. She says it is a secret. When La Esmerelda isnt looking, Fleur‑de‑Lys‑de Gondelaurier opens the bag and sees wooden letters. Djali spells out “Phoebus” with them. Outraged that she now must compete with La Esmerelda for Captain Phoebus affections, Fleur‑de‑Lys‑de Gondelaurier calls her a witch and faints. La Esmerelda runs away with Phoebus on her heels. Frollo had been in his secret cell until he heard La Esmereldas tambourine. After watching her figure dancing in the square, he rushed down to find her. When he arrived there, she was gone.

But Gringoire is there balancing a chair and a cat on his head. Gringoire sees Frollo and follows him back to the cathedral. Frollo demands to know where Gringoire had been for the last two months. Gringoire relayed his tale of his marriage to La Esmerelda, but Frollo did not care that Gringoire had been with beggars. He wanted to know about La Esmerelda. Gringoire tells him that she came from Egypt by way of Hungary and that she will remain chaste until she finds her parents. Gringoire and Frollo depart, but only after Gringoire embarrasses Frollo by asking why he wants to know so much about La Esmerelda. Later that month, Jehan realizes that he is out of money and decides to ask his brother, Frollo for money.

Jehan enters Frollo s cell but Frollo does not notice him. Jehan takes notice of Frollos mumbles in Hebrew and Latin and of the magical inscriptions on his walls. He then exits the room and enters again pretending it is the first time he has come in. When he asks Frollo for money, he denies him saying how embarrassed he is that Jehan is fighting and drinking instead of studying. Jehan tries to convince him otherwise, but its no use. On his way out of the cathedral, Jehan runs into Phoebus. They are old friends and decide to go drinking together not knowing that Frollo is following them.

Phoebus brags that he has plans to meet La Esmerelda as Jehan passes out in the mud. Frollo follows Phoebus and its not long before Phoebus takes notice of it. Phoebus confronts him but is unaware that it is him as he is hidden in a cloak. Frollo give Phoebus money to give him information about La Esmerelda and Phoebus takes him to the house where he and La Esmerelda are to meet. Just before she enters, Phoebus hides Frollo in a room with a spy hole. He watches as La Esmerelda declares her undying love for Phoebus and he pretends to love her just as much. Frollo watches as they kiss and Phoebus tells her he cannot marry her. Frollo dashes out of his hiding spot and repeatedly stabs Phoebus while La Esmerelda faints. She awakes to hear men say that a sorceress has stabbed their dear captain.

Gringoire begins to worry about La Esmerelda when he has not heard from her in nearly a month. Someone tells him something of her and an officer, but he does not believe it. He hears of a witch on trial for the death of an officer and hopes the trial will lighten his spirits. When he arrives, he sees that the woman on trial is his La Esmerelda. She insists that she did not do it. That it was a goblin priest. The owner of the house said that she saw a hooded figure enter and exit the house.

But the court is convinced that it was a demon spirit that La Esmerelda conjured to kill Phoebus. They are given permission to torture her. The prosecutor asks her to confess three times, but she refuses. So he orders a doctor to stretch her body in four different directions. But she refuses to confess to crimes she did not commit, until the pain is too much for her to bare. The Judge condemns both La Esmerelda and Djali to be hanged before all of Notre Dame. As La Esmerelda is in her cell with no light awaiting her hanging, Frollo comes to her. She is horrified as she recognizes him as the man who killed her one true love. He confesses his love for her, telling her that he had her on trial for murder so that he could see her secretly and he begs her to love him. He says that he can save her.

She tells him that they will never be together, not even in hell. She cries out for Phoebus, and as the shunned Frollo leaves he says, “he is dead.” Meanwhile, Sister Gudule is going through her own torture. She still laments for her lost child. That is until she hears the people cry out that La Esmerelda is to be hanged. She then springs to the streets to watch. Phoebus had completely recovered from his wounds. He returns to Paris after a long time away and is ready to take Fleur‑de‑Lys as his wife.

As they are discussing their wedding plans, Phoebus hears the crowd outside. Fleur‑de‑Lys tells him a witch is to be hanged. As they both see La Esmerelda, Phoebus goes white. His fianc is still jealous of her and wants him to watch her public humiliation. La Esmerelda whimpers Phoebus name to herself and upon looking up sees him. She faints. Quasimodo, who was watching the spectacle, swung down on a rope from the towers and snatched La Esmerelda. He ran with her to the cathedral screaming, “sanctuary!”

Frollo runs to the hills in disbelief that he has sentenced the woman he loves to death. He begins to go mad. He is more demon than man. Upon seeing Jehan with a prostitute, he runs to the towers and thinks he is seeing La Esmereldas ghost, since he believes her to be dead. When La Esmerelda awakes, she is surprised to see Quasimodo standing over her. But it becomes routine for him to always be near her. The two form a friendship. Still, La Esmerelda can only think of Phoebus. She does not blame him for not speaking out when he saw her about to be hanged.

She blames herself for confessing to his murder. She sees him across the square and calls to him but he does not hear her. Quasimodo offers to go fetch him for her. He waits outside Fleur‑de‑Lys house for Phoebus. When he finally comes out, it is dark and he does not believe Quasimodo. He assumed La Esmerelda to be dead and dismisses Quasimodo. He tells La Esmerelda that he could not find him. Frollo becomes ill when he discovers that La Esmerelda is still alive.

Then he spies on her. He then steals the key to her room and at nightfall he sneaks into her room. She wakes up to find him standing over her and screams. He again begs her to love him. She again refuses and this time he climbs on top of her. She blows the whistle Quasimodo gave her and the hunchback comes to her rescue. Because it is dark, Quasimodo does not see that it is Frollo he is choking. When the light of the moon makes it clear who it is, Quasimodo releases his master. Frollo kicks him aside and says that no one shall have La Esmerelda.

Frollo finds Gringoire and tells him that La Esmerelda is about to be forcefully removed from Notre Dame and hanged. He tricks Gringoire into “saving” La Esmerelda. Then Frollo runs into Jehan. He says that he has changed his ways, and that he plans to be more serious and responsible. Then he asks for money. When Frollo refuses, he runs to join the vagabonds. They were not keen to taking him in. They were preparing to storm the cathedral and save La Esmerelda. They only accept Jehan when he tells them that he knows the cathedral very well.

When they arrive at the cathedral, Quasimodo thinks it to be an attack to kill La Esmerelda. The vagabonds cry out that they want to save La Esmerelda. But Quasimodo cannot hear. So he crushes some of them with a beam, kills other with melted lead. Others are scared and run away. Jehan would not give up though. He climbed up a ladder on the side. Quasimodo found him, moved the ladder, crushed his skull against the wall, and threw Jehan to his death. Meanwhile, Gringoire is brought to the King of France as a prisoner. He agrees to let him go only if he will help them hang the “sorceress.” Back at the cathedral, Quasimodo is about to surrender to the vagabonds when Phoebus and the Kings archers show up. They clear out the remaining vagabonds and prepare to arrest La Esmerelda. Quasimodo believes that they are there to help La Esmerelda and rushes to tell her the news. When he gets to her room, she is nowhere to be found.

During the storming of the castle by the vagabonds, La Esmerelda awoke to screams. She decides to leave. Just as she is about to exit the cathedral, she sees Gringoire and a mysterious stranger. They offer to save her and she agrees. They get into a boat traveling down the Siene. As they pass Notre Dame she hears people scream, “death to the sorceress!” She faints at the thought of so many people wanting her dead. When she wakes, Gringoire is gone and only the mysterious stranger remains. They are near the public square where she is to be hanged.

The mysterious stranger is Frollo. He begs her to love him and says that she has a choice. She will either leave with him or be turned over to the authorities to die. She asks to die. Before Frollo leaves for Notre Dame, he leaves La Esmerelda with Sister Gudule since he knows of her hatred for gypsies. Sister Gudule begins yelling at La Esmerelda and asks why gypsies like her ate her baby. La Esmerelda begs to be released and says that she has done nothing to harm her. Sister Gudule shows her a little satin shoe she made for her baby. La Esmerelda pulls an identical shoe out of her bag. They both hug realizing that they have been searching for one another for fifteen years.

Just then the executioners arrive. Sister Gudule is not willing to give up her daughter now that she has finally found her. She pushes La Esmerelda back inside her cell and tells the soldiers that La Esmerelda has escaped. They believe her and are about to leave when Phoebus rides by. A few men say his name and hearing this, La Esmerelda thinks he can help her. She calls out to him and is found by the soldier. They begin dragging her toward the scaffold. Sister Gudule begs them not to take her daughter. They apologize and say that Louis XI wants her dead. It must be done.

She claws at them but it is no use. When they reach the scaffold, the prosecutor, the man who tortured her before was there to hang her. Sister Gudule leaned forward and bit his hand off. But it was too late. Back at Notre Dame, Quasimodo was frantically searching for La Esmerelda. He went to the top of the towers in hopes that he would be able to spot La Esmerelda. When he reached the top, he saw Frollo looking down upon La Esmerelda hanging in a white dress from the scaffolding. He picked up Frollo and tossed him to the ground. Looking at Frollo and Esmerelda he called, “there is everything I ever loved.” He was never seen again. Year upon Years later when a gravedigger found La Esmerelda s remains, the skeleton of a hunchback was curled around her.

IV. Conflict

Man vs himself

V. Theme

Essence precedes existence

VI. Point of View

Third person omniscient

VII. Reaction

My initial impression of the Hunchback of Notre Dame was merely what I had seen in the Disney movie. Reading the book, I see that it was definitely different. In a good way. I really enjoyed it. It started out a little bit slow for me, but I really got into the plot. I was actually somewhat sad when it was over.