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What is the theme of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?  This answer should be only one...

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rubiroy11 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 15, 2011 at 6:50 AM via web

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What is the theme of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?

 

This answer should be only one theme and be no more than 500 words

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 15, 2011 at 9:09 AM (Answer #1)

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The real theme of Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris, as The Hunchback of Notre Dame was originally entitled, was to bring attention to the beauty and grandeur and history of gothic architecture so that the Parisians would be made aware of the necessity of preserving this architecture. 

However, as the narrative of Hugo's book is probably what is under consideration for this question, the theme for the narrative that is more closely connected to the plot than others while still paralleling Hugo's design for the preservation of gothic architecture is that goodness often appears in unsightly ways while evil manifests itself in unholy ways.  Quasimodo, deformed of body but sensitive of soul, who resembles a gargoyle and is ridiculed by the Parisian  crowd, is the truly saintly hero of the narrative while the bishop, Fra Claude Frollo in his obssession with alchemy and lust for gold as well as his licentious desire for Esmeralda, is truly evil. 

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