Date of Award


Degree Type



English Language and Literatures

Director of Thesis

Esther Richey

Second Reader

Andrea Henderson-Platt


Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame hinges on the idea of fate and characters being caught up in situations and fantasies that seem to be out of their control. Esmeralda is the fly caught in Frollo’s web, and yet her beauty and allure attracts and ensnares him in turn. Quasimodo is ensnared by Esmeralda’s beauty but also by society’s perceptions of him. The characters in Hunchback are so caught up in the webs of fantasies and perceptions spun by themselves or society that they can no longer communicate effectively with others, resulting in alienation from the very society in which they are caught.