Ma. Raisa Dy Pandan 11E English Character Sketch 11/16/11
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
None in Paris could have looked more gruesome, more frightening, than the hunchbacked-bell ringer of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Quasimodo. None in Paris could have been more misunderstood as well. Perpetually stooped over, with a wart covering most of his left eye, deafened by the tolling of church bells and with a generally unkempt appearance, Quasimodo is shunned by the people. He is ridiculed, mocked, and made a fool of publicly. People laugh at his face and call him monster, freak. But that is not even their greatest mistake. The greatest mistake of the people in Paris is in their thinking that, beneath Quasimodo’s ugliness, there lies also an ugly, bitter heart.
It is instinct that causes people to avert their eyes when there is something they do not want to see. Even Esmeralda, who pities Quasimodo and gives him water to drink when he is suffering, is afraid to look at his face. However, it is wrong to judge a person by his outer appearance, no matter how ugly he may be. As unpleasing as he may be to the eyes, Quasimodo still has a heart, and, above all, he is still capable of loving, even after being surrounded by so much hate. Thus, Quasimodo is one of the best representations of a book that should never be judged by its cover.
Quasimodo’s greatest weakness lies in his heart and his love for the only person in whom he has found a home—Claude Frollo. As opposed to Quasimodo, Frollo is outwardly a holy man, but inside he is ugly, manipulative and hideous. Quasimodo only attempts to kidnap Esmeralda because of his great devotion to Frollo. The hunchback of Notre Dame is lonely, yearns to be loved and needs someone who will allow herself to be loved by him.
Love, which is Quasimodo’s downfall, is also his greatest strength. It is through his great love that Quasimodo’s real self is...