The Theme of Fate in Victor Hugo’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Whenever one looks in the nineteenth century, there is Victor Hugo, the French dramatist and novelist, and the revolutionary socialist. His father was a general in Napoleon’s army and, as a result, Hugo was never a strong supporter of the monarchy that began in 1815 after Napoleon’s defeat in Waterloo.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was written during the July 1830 Revolution, was affected by the historical and political trends of the early nineteenth century. Victor Hugo was born at the beginning of the Napoleonic Empire on February 26,1802. He began writing under the restoration monarchy but then became a strong supporter of the French Republic. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is his first novel. The original title of the novel is “Notre dame de Paris” in French. It’s a historical novel and everything about the plot is supposed to reflect the cathedral of Notre Dame. Fate is a very important theme in the novel and it is linked to the cathedral -- every character in there was tied to Notre Dame in some way, and Notre Dame sealed their fates. Notre Dame itself even had a tragic fate, it was falling apart and there was very little respect for its architecture. Nothing had been done to repair the damage done to it during the French Revolution. According to the editor of the first edition of Hunchback of Notredame in 1831, when Hugo was visiting or exploring Notre Dame, he found, carved by hand on the wall of one of the towers the word “Anatkh” which meant fatality in Greek. The Greek capitals, black with age and cut quite deep into the stone, had something puculiarly gothic about it, as if it had been from the medieval period. And this made a great impression on the author
Hugo had great admiration towards the gothic architecture of Notre Dame and strove to represent it as the cultural and political center of Paris. He wanted to inspire his read...