Book reviews, Discussion

Discussion | The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Upon finishing what turned out to be quite a sad novel and reading some great analysis on Sparknotes (come on we all do this!) I just wanted to discuss a few quotes and things that caught my attention in the novel.

There’s no point reviewing the novel. I mean it’s French. It’s Revolutionary and I bought it outside of Notre-Dame in Paris, of course I loved it.

Time is the architect, people are the mason

The book explores Roman, Greek, Gothic and all types of art and architecture. What I take from this quote is that, it is time that gives a building or a painting it’s true character and value, people are simply the builders but it is time that is the true artist.

Our fathers had a Paris of stone, our children will have a Paris of plaster

The first thing that came to mind upon viewing this quote was, plaster of Paris? does that hold any significance to this quote or am I just being weird?

Anyway, Victor Hugo scarily predicted the change Paris was going to undergo after the revolution, important ancient buildings were torn down to make way for Boulevards and the commercial Paris of today. Although important structures still remain in the city, Paris has lost a certain permanency through its continuous renovation and rebuilding.

Civilization always begins at theocracy and ends at democracy

I like this quote because of how true it rings. Time and time again, basically every civilization has begun with theocracy and has ended up today in democracy which I believe is the better way.

Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, it strikes its roots deep into our whole being, and frequently continues to put forth green leaves over a heart in ruins. And there is this unaccountable circumstance attending it, that the blinder that passion, the more tenacious it is. Never is it stronger when it is most unreasonable.

That quote resonates with me so much. It especially reminds me of unrealistic crushes over hot guys in YA novels. No but seriously, Victor Hugo appears very wise when it comes to all matters of love and undesirable lust.

Those are all the quotes that I wanted to discuss today. There is of course the astonishing symbolism between our protagonist Quasimodo and Notre-Dame. Quasimodo’s ugly, laughed-upon exterior yet his pure heart resemble the nature of the Gothic church which has become one of the most famous landmarks in Paris thanks to Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

About the book

Title: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Author: Victor Hugo

Genre: Classic


In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo’s sensational, evocative novel brings life to the medieval Paris he loved, and mourns its passing in one of the greatest historical romances of the nineteenth century



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