The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Search for Sanctuary

It is important for those with problems to seek refuge in a place where they can better sort out their difficulties and find solutions to their predicaments. Different people have different methods of coping with their problems: some attempt to distract themselves, others simply find a quiet spot and think about their problems, and some look to the place of refuge itself for a solution. All three methods are apparent in Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame; in this work, three characters look to the great cathedral of Notre Dame to solve their problems. Quasimodo attempts to combat his desolation, Claude Frollo tries to forget his dreams of Esmeralda, and Esmeralda strives to escape death and the loss of a lover. Quasimodo, Claude Frollo, and La Esmeralda seek refuge inside the Cathedrale de Notre Dame from their overwhelming loneliness, fears, and passions.

Quasimodo never knows friendship or even acceptance during his life. "As [Quasimodo and Claude Frollo] crossed the chilly, narrow, and gloomy streets in the neighborhood of Notre-Dame, many a snide word, many a derisive laugh, or insulting jibe would harass them on their way. (163)" Quasimodo has almost every possible physical deformity working against him:...

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