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Outcast
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
Great classic by a great author, who lets himself shine through the story. His social and historic (and architectural) commentaries is undoubtfully gold to any historians - but those not that interested (like myself) should probably skip entire book third.<br><br>Unfortunately this story fell flat on it's face, when I realized what a cold hearted ignorant b**** Esmeralda really was, and I lost all interest in her and the characters who loved her. At least I could ally myself with Gringoire in caring for her goat instead.

fuzzer1
10-17-2007, 08:08 PM
So many films make Esmerelda a kind hearted person, and I lov her in the films, yet in the book, she is the oppisite. Yet despite this, is an extremely popular character. She was two faced, thank you.

NovelWorm
12-10-2007, 02:13 AM
I agree that she is two-faced, selfish, cold, arrogant, etc.

But that is why I am fascinated with the other characters' fascination with her. One would think that they would put themselves through all that trouble for a more worthy girl/woman. It just goes to show how deprived they were of female contact that the first pretty female to sway her hips to a tune has them chained.

That is understandable with Phoebus, who only wanted a good time, a one-night stand if you will. Frollo...well, I expected an individual such as himself to have better taste, but he most likely did not think highly of women (eg: his reaction to the princess visiting the monastery/cloister; his running away at the sound of a skirt swishing along the floor; I hope I remembered that correctly) and saw only an object of lust in Esmeralda. No intelligence or compassion required. Of course this came back to bite him when she had no intelligence or compassion in dealing with him.

But Quasimodo got the worst deal. He was deluded in thinking she cared (if not about him specifically, then at least that she was kind in general and could see past his deformity) when she gave him water. And frankly I don't see her motive in doing that. The films make a touching scene out of it, but in the novel it's almost like she wanders up to the pillory by accident and is not really consistent with her later actions. Yet in return, he offers to (and does) become her slave. And what does she do? Sends him to wait in front of the house where Phoebus is visiting until he comes out (a few days later I believe). Nice.

bazarov
12-10-2007, 05:53 AM
Claude Frollo was a highly educated priest; and therefore he could not have any normal feelings toward womens. Beauty, smartness, intelligence meant nothing to him. He could only feel lust, like you said.
Esmeralda was a young Gypsy dancer, why would she be something special? Stupid, uneducated, arrogant, unaware what is actually happening and crazy in love? I find her actions totally normal.
Why did she gave him water? Just like that, probably from no reason; it's not her fault he saw it as a sign of friendship or even worse; love.

NovelWorm
12-10-2007, 03:14 PM
I can understand that a man raised with only books and in the priesthood since early youth can not have normal feeling toward/perceptions of women.

He would also not expect intelligence, since in that time women were not considered capable of intellectually stimulating activities, or if they showed they possessed knowledge/wisdom/intelligence then they were branded as witches.

But I'm not sure I see why beauty would not mean anything to him? Lust would most likely rise to the surface first due to being repressed for so long, but beauty is closely associated. If Esmeralda had been an ugly dancer doing the same moves he most likely would not have given her a second thought.


Esmeralda was a young Gypsy dancer, why would she be something special? Stupid, uneducated, arrogant, unaware what is actually happening and crazy in love? I find her actions totally normal.

Her actions, as you said, are in accordance with her age and social status (not sure that she was actually arrogant though, more ditzy maybe?). But something must have been special about her to drive men crazy. She couldn't have been the only Gypsy dancer on Parisian streets, so it can't be just her dancing; probably then her youth or beauty. Unfortunately that is where her positive attributes end.

It is true that it's not her fault how Quasimodo interpretted her actions, but that does not excuse her callous actions towards him after he saves her. (Just more proof of her shallowness.)

bazarov
12-11-2007, 08:15 AM
But I'm not sure I see why beauty would not mean anything to him?

Without brain, beauty was only thing people in those days could see in womens. Claude knew that, so he probably didn't care about that too much.




But something must have been special about her to drive men crazy.
When men see ''that special thing'' in women, he sees it but he cannot explain why and what it is. It's just...something!:)

NovelWorm
12-11-2007, 12:33 PM
Without brain, beauty was only thing people in those days could see in womens. Claude knew that, so he probably didn't care about that too much.

He most likely knew that, but couldn't help himself when her particular type of beauty caught his eye. That and her style of dress (much more revealing than the other "beautiful ladies") and dancing promoted his physical attraction. Because as you said, he was not attracted to her intellectual qualities; the attraction was purely physical.


When men see ''that special thing'' in women, he sees it but he cannot explain why and what it is. It's just...something!

Haha, yes it is true. And it is the same for when a woman sees "that special thing" in a man, it can often not be explained. :)

bazarov
12-12-2007, 06:40 AM
He most likely knew that, but couldn't help himself when her particular type of beauty caught his eye.


Particular or unexplained type of beauty often is that special thing. :) Yes, Gypsy dance is really attractive.:D