Social, political and ethical issues are highlighted with in the narrative, comparing the two different centuries, arguing which is the ideal life-style to live. Hugo has incorporated the political aspects of the two major French Revolutions, using them as symbolism that the zealousness of 15th century Paris could be lost; this is shown in Pierre Gringoires’ character which could be a representation of Hugo himself, this is where the time frame is inconsequential, the character’s personalities are consistent throughout the centuries some perceived to be positive, others more negative. Considering how the world perceives beauty and the term ugly, these are all apparent in the narrative whether it is the original or an adaptation. People have taken the narrative in different ways all over in cognation to Quasimodo being half-made, there was classical credence’s such as; the ‘maternal imagination’ – where if an enceinte woman is exposed to ugliness it can affect the magnification of her foetus Henderson, G. H. (2015) During the 18th century deformities and ugliness were often utilized as either pranks or japes, or even left to perform on the streets and beg. During the Victorian era deformities saw an increase in commercialisation in the form of Freak Shows for regalement, even Ethnic exhibits were performed during these shows, this relates to the equity element of the narrative.
From utilizing the cathedral as the focal point of the narrative, it virtually mirrors the character’s destiny and shows how the morals establish the flow of the narrative, whether it be outsiders, decline in hierarchy or even a philosopher finding his true self. How outsiders or outcasts are described in the book, gypsies were not a culture well-doted in the middle ages or even in modern society as stereotypes and archetypes of what a gypsy is have been morphed by time and society. People were mistreated for the way they look or live in the 15th century with Quasimodo representing the lowest denomination of society of the narrative time, this can still be apparent now ‘what do they have against people that are different?’ (hunchback of Notre dame 1862). From analysing the narrative and visually examining it is visually perceived that it is not just restrained to just one century. The moral and fatalities within the narrative are interchangeable with mundane themes such as equity, abandonment, appearances and allegiance.
Looking in to Somatic performance theory emphasising on, ‘how does what we wear affect how we move and perceive and what we engender and perform’ (Dean E, 2014) by restricting their kinetics, or restraining them to a spot analysing how this is shown on stage. From examining Sally Deans paper on ‘where is the body in costume design process’ (Dean, 2016) her conceptions on somatic instigators verbalize about how being aware of your body and not commencing with a character, story or initial image starting from no reference. Her work emphasises on multi-sensorial experiences utilizing the haptic or kinaesthetic senses rather than the dominating sense which is our vision, they aim to rebalance the sensorial hierarchy. The process in making a somatic costume is to potentially alter our relationship with in and environment or towards a person or our own body, inspired by Skinners Releasing Technique designing with our eyes closed allows us to work in a multi-sensorial manor making us conscious of our surroundings and body movements. This ideology dates to the Monks who advocate costume and performance and the essential weighting of the costume and body, they believe that, and absent body is equal to absent costume the actor is already dressed or stripped on stage, but it is absent from the design process, bringing the body into the process it can enhance your designing for a performance or installation. From reading into this it is a new concept of producing a costume without a story or initial image to reference from.
One of the symbolic points in the narrative was when Quasimodo was sentenced to time on the pillory a medieval penalization, through miss judgment, he was restrained and spun thus creating restricted body movement almost becoming animalistic. Hugo explored how the society treated this image and how it was a minority who took pity on him and treated him like he was no different, in this case Esmeralda. This is where the concept of how people are perceived and judged in the world can relate to any setting in the past and in a contemporary setting. Looking at performance artists including French performance artist Orlan who specialises in ‘self-portraiture in the classical sense but made by the means of today’s technology. It swings between disfiguration and refiguration’ (carnal art nd). Another French performance artist that considered body disfiguration is Olivier de Sagan, such as his piece called Transfiguration which is defined in ‘a complete change of form or appearance into more human or spiritual state’ (ditionary2017). However, his performance is described by himself ‘revealing the animalistic human who is seeking to understand his authentic nature’ (Sagazan de Olivier).
‘I became obsessed with this idea of blurring the perimeter of the body, so you couldn’t see where the skin ended, and the near environment started’ (LucyandBart.2012) this idea of blurring the body allows us to explore the links between Quasimodo and the Cathedral how he has become part of it. From considering their work ‘Evolution’ which she created with her associate Bart Hess, this project linked into the concept of somatic movement, (see figure 2) McRae is known as a Body Architect her work in an instinctual stalking of fashion, architect and looking at how the body performs. Her work influences the ideology of soma-performance and revealing a different environment for the body to become a creature or a spiritual (futuristic) state. With Quasimodo bringing the story to life with his pureness and disfigurement there is something attractive within the narrative that Hugo relates to. Allowing the reader not only to feel for him but to go on his journey, optically canvassing his bond to others and his relations- to the cathedral. Analysing what is more alluring for the audience, beauty can in some ways be perceived as boring, it must always follow certain rules and regulations however unattractiveness is unpredictable and offers us an unlimited amount of possibilities Henderson, G. H. (2015). Hugo may have taken the term ‘Ugly’ to a higher calibre, with the outsiders Esmeralda and Quasimodo both perceived as ugly from the Parisians of the time, however people could describe them as mesmerizing. Deformities can be hard for people to accept in modern day or the past nobody fully understands what they are and with the current media coverage that we have got things can be misinterpreted. Rebecca Dann expresses her experiences with her condition Kyphoscoliosis which is an eccentric curvature of the spine which could be what Quasimodo had. Rebecca created a collection of photography titled ‘I’m Fine’ which is a true representation of herself expressing to the world that you should ‘accept yourself for who you are, and not to acknowledge how the media portrays beauty’ (woman called the hunchback of Notre dame because of curved spine wins award for portrait.2016)
Hugo passion for the narrative came from renovating the Cathedral, he worked proximately within the Cathedral thus the finding of Henry Sibson’s memoirs could have influenced the decisions he made about Quasimodo and predicating it in the 15th century helped to emphasise how the society visually perceived deformities as outcasts and an abandonment to God. His memoirs consist of findings such as; ‘the regime sculptor, whose name I forget… he was humpbacked and did not relish to commix with carvers’ or ‘Mon. Le Bossu meaning the Hunchback’ (Nikkhah)