The Hunchback of Notre-Dame: Novel Summary: Book II Analysis

This book is delivered from the perspective of Pierre Gringoire and reveals him to be a very likable person who is able to see the humor in almost any situation. His ordeal before the King of Truand has a comical air that contrasts the threat to his life. Though something of a clown and motivated by self-interest, Gringoire does not hesitate to rush to Esmeraldas aid when she is seized by Quasimodo. As such, he emerges from the book as a sympathetic character. Hugo characteristically interjects his own brand of humor in this section when he relates the manner in which the stolen mattress was mistaken for a miraculous artifact after the fact of Gringoires flight. Esmeralda, however, emerges as something of a mystery though she too is supposed to have a good heart as evidenced by her willingness to rescue Grigoire. Her obvious fascination with the young captain reveals her emotional vulnerability and her assertion that her lover will have a sword and wear the fine clothes of a soldier indicates a weakness in her otherwise stoic and realistic demeanor.