The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a historical novel written by Victor Hugo. The novel is set in Paris during the 15th century and is centered on Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre-Dame Cathedral, who has a disability regarding his hunchback and his love for the dancer Esmeralda, a gypsy girl whose ancestors are Romans. The story unravels slowly as it introduces new characters which happen to affect our two main protagonists’ lives and also the faith of the events that are present at the location based on its time. As our two main characters meet, a pace of action begins to take off by the introduction of one of the most strongly and originally written antagonist of all novels that has come and also may be presented to the next generations in the upcoming years, Claude Frollo.
It also features a unique setting of Paris and uses its remarkable atmosphere through the events leading to the exactly same location which is elaborately described. While reminding his readers the significance of the Paris’s Gothic past, Victor Hugo also deliberately manages to point out the importance of the preservation of the city’s historic architecture and thus creates an invisible bound between the emotions of the readers and Paris’s heritage. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is successfully conceived as a story of the cathedral as he devotes two chapters of the novel describing it. It is a basic and solid proof of how it shapes our perception and shows us how it mindscapes as we still deeply believe that those landmarks have a significant importance to us. Even as of today, the fire that was started and made one of the main integrals, collapse made millions of people mourn for their loss which they carved deep into their souls.
The story starts in a more of a political ridiculing style and suddenly changes its pace to a dramatic one in a heartbeat. It makes no hurry to tell its story in the beautiful and extraordinary narration style it has and takes one’s time to deliver all of the emotions, thoughts and beliefs Mr. Hugo endorsed to its characters. You are shown a variety of unrelated characters which turn out to carry a little bit of yourself as you explore the book and start to emphasize with the significant features they have. It carries a different linguistic feature while also not spoiling its fluency and variation of one of the most beautiful dialogues and monologues you can ever come across. The course of actions are mostly being followed throughout the novel without corrupting its main themes such as its drama, romance, tragedy and historical figures. Victor Hugo does an amazing job at leading all the main characters to the exact spot he wants them to be at through the ending without giving up their characteristics and their morals as human beings. In the novel, he basically tells us how to be and act like a human being from the very beginning by giving examples from religious beliefs, discrimination between races and classes that characters face in all the story, and most importantly through human emotions which he obviously believes that has no boundries over such thing as appereances or other elements that seperates us one from another. He just manages to tell his story without having unnecessary lexical choices or symboles that represent many different matters , but with only obvious and essential information and words that he can trust using while building the tension and emotional background.
Even the ending has its own kind of narration, as it delivers one of the most striking and chain-breaking endings in the history of story telling. Victor Hugo manages not only to keep his abilities of perfection in creating an environment which all features are managed to fit together and work collaborately, but he also improves them as he jumps from a subject of matter to another in his history of writing.