Hunchback of Notre Dame
Discuss the stylistic, thematic, and cultural role of Notre Dame in the novel. Did Hugo have a specific agenda in making the cathedral the center of action as well as a symbol of Paris?
In what ways is Claude Frollo not a stereotypical villain? Do his failures drive him to evil? What role does his obsessive lust play in his heinous acts?
What role does predestination play in the novel? What does Frollo mean by the word "fatality"? Are there any metaphors that describe and explain this theme?
Why does La Esmerelda bring water to Quasimodo when he is being tortured? Does she not remember that he tried to kidnap her the night before? How does this act affect Quasimodo?
How does Hugo describe the French justice system in the Middle Ages? Who is put on trial? What role does torture play in the novel?
Why does Sister Gudule despise gypsies, and especially La Esmerelda? Why does she defend La Esmerelda and give her life to protect her at the end of the novel?
Why is Quasimodo's skeleton found with La Esmerelda's remains?
Why does Pierre Gringoire join the vagabonds? Does Hugo criticize philosophy through Gringoire's character?
Discuss the role of love and family in the novel. Why does Frollo and Quasimodo's love for La Esmerelda drive them to such violent ends? Why are so many characters related by the fact that they are all orphans?
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