The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo is classic, everyone should read it. Part of the reason it’s a classic is because it captures the time period perfectly. It was written with a theme of realism, which was very common in 1831, when it was written. Realism literature usually comes with a tragedy because in the real world you rarely get happy endings. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is very realistic, especially in the ending, which makes it a great book. Hugo also put many facts from the late 1400s in the book to make it even more realistic. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a fun way to learn about the culture of the late 1400s.
While reading the book I was very surprised by how much society has changed. I learned things I never imagined. Even if you have extensive knowledge about the time period, I still think you could learn something. One interesting thing I learned was that if you broke the law you would be safe in a sanctuary, unless you had an extreme case. A sanctuary is a place of worship and as long as you were there they couldn’t arrest you. I never imagined that there would a place safe from the law, but as I continued read, I found that the church has a huge influence on society. I thought it was weird how big of an influence the church has because in our current society, religion has almost no effect in society.
Another interesting thing that occurred in the late 1400s was how public people lives’ were. When somebody broke the law, their punishment was usually physical public pain. People would a beaten in front of a crowd as their punishment and part of the reason they did this was that it pleased the public. The majority of the population liked seeing someone being publicly humiliated. I think that’s just wrong, people shouldn’t like to watch someone getting hurt. Although very different from the happy Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is an excellent book.