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MonkeyNotes-The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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Chapter 17

Summary

The young Claude Frollo was an extraordinary person. His parents had trained him from his childhood for the priesthood. As a student, he had studied both Latin and theology.

After his parents’ death, Frollo, at the age of nineteen, took up the responsibility of raising his younger brother, Jehan. For most of his young life, Frollo was utterly devoted to his brother, pampering and spoiling him. Unfortunately, Jehan became somewhat worthless.

When he entered the priesthood, Claude Frollo was the youngest chaplain of Notre-Dame and performed the service at the altar. He spent a lot of time reading books, which were his most prized possessions and helped him not to think about his brother. But it was the thought of his own brother that made Frollo adopt the deformed child and name him Quasimodo. Since he had failed with his brother, he hoped to work a miraculous transformation in the beastly orphan.


Notes

In this chapter, which is written as a flashback like the previous one, the character of Claude Frollo is developed more fully. When he is nineteen, Frollo’s parents die, leaving him to raise his younger brother, Jehan. He devotes himself totally to Jehan and spoils him terribly. As a result, Jehan does not amount to anything.

When Frollo enters the priesthood and becomes the youngest chaplain at Notre-Dame, he does not really know how to relate to people, for he has spent his youth raising his brother and reading books. Besides serving at the altar of the cathedral, he still spends lots of time reading and trying to forget his failure with Jehan. In spite of opposition, he adopts Quasimodo, the deformed infant, in hopes of working a miraculous transformation in him, to compensate for his failure with Jehan. His decision to raise Quasimodo will make him more of a social outcast.

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