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01 February 2010 @ 12:00 am
Discussion 02 - Defining Moments  
The last discussion was absolutely wonderful! There's a lot of great ideas being brought out, and I'm intrigued to see what stances you guys take on different aspects of the novel. We all read it from where we are in our lives, and it's always interesting to see that come out. There are never any right or wrong answers, which makes it even better. Onto this week's discussion! :D

In your opinion, what is the single event in the novel that changes everything? In other words, what do you think is that one defining moment in the novel/musical?
 
 
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Anna: Craig Skullpersephoneia on February 1st, 2010 05:03 am (UTC)
I think it is when Djali spells out Phoebus with the blocks. Everything after that since to start "going down hill".
✖ Bleed Peroxide ✖: FMA ★ Izumi Sippin' Coffeebleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 05:29 am (UTC)
Oh man, that definitely spelled the end for Esméralda. I remember reading that and hearing "oh shit" as the first thing in my head. That goat's too smart for its own good.

Edited at 2010-02-01 05:30 am (UTC)
silverwhistle: Unicorn Ladysilverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 11:02 am (UTC)
Or she may know exactly what she's doing and be plotting to get Esméralda out of the way so she can have Pierre all to herself… ;-D

Never underestimate a goat…
(no subject) - bleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - silverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ex_heartill on February 1st, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
I think that the defining moment in the musical would be when Esmeralda is just hanged, and Quasimodo pushes Frollo off the stairs. He's just released himself from the chains Frollo had enslaved him in. It took Esmeralda's tragic death for Quasimodo to finally free himself from Frollo's manipulation.

As for the novel, again it's Esmeralda's death. Firstly we finally see Phoebus for the douchebag he is, Frollo goes completely mad, and again Quasimodo is finally able to do what he couldn't do before: stand up to Frollo.
✖ Bleed Peroxide ✖: FMA ★ Izumi Sippin' Coffeebleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
(matching coffee sipping icons ♥ )

Ooh, I like how you differentiated between the novel and the musical in this case. The death definitely had a different effect in each aspect - for the novel, it was the culmination of everything that had been building the entire novel. I imagine that a kettle had been having water boil it in the entire time, and it was at this point that it was whistling and going nuts. The musical seemed to have more focused on the way it affected Quasimodo and Frollo together - Frollo going mad, and Quasimodo pushing him down the stairs as a result.
ex_heartill on February 1st, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
Izumi, yes? I need to watch FMA again

Yeah, in the musical despite the romance, I think that it was also trying to show us how Frollo has Quasimodo under this spell, and uses the 'I made you my foster son when no one would, and I'm the only one that'll ever care for you' ploy to get what he wants. Esmeralda's death shows us he was finally able to break from Frollo's manipluation. Yay Quasi!
(no subject) - bleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - silverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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silverwhistle: Unicorn Ladysilverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 11:09 am (UTC)
But… that's all just at the end?
ex_heartill on February 1st, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Eh...I meant the defining moment for Quasimodo. I sorta have a bias, as he's my favorite character, plus I wrote this at like two in the morning when I wasn't thinking properly.
◊ delightfully wicked ◊wicked_seraph on February 1st, 2010 06:56 am (UTC)
It's been far longer than I care to admit since I've seen OR read anything NDdP-related, but from what I can recall I would state the most obvious: the moment Claude lays eyes on Esmeralda.

ex_heartill on February 1st, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
I agree. If Claude hadn't seen Esmeralda, he wouldn't have sent Quasimodo to kidnap her, which means she wouldn't have met Phoebus and fell in love with him, which means he wouldn't have been seduced by her and cheated on Fluer, which also means he wouldn't have captured Quasimodo, which means he wouldn't have been tied to the wheel, which means Esmeralda wouldn't have given him the water, which means he wouldn't have fallen for her.

PHEW.

I need coffee.
✖ Bleed Peroxide ✖: FMA ★ Izumi Puking Blood... Againbleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Once he did that, things really went to hell, didn't they? D:
twolionsstwolionss on February 1st, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Indeed!
ALC: Frollo Cassock Ripjackks on February 1st, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
For me, the event that sets the plot galloping uncontrollably in motion, the point of no return for the characters, is certainly the 'stabbing of Phoebus'. Up untill that point Frollo can walk away from his obsession (though he doesn't realise it), and none of the characters would be the worse off. Once Frollo has stabbed Phoebus, there is no going back. The law is now unescapably involved. Events begin to disintergrate out of all control. Frollo, himself, has allowed his obsession to cross a barrier he cannot return from. As for Esmeralda that scene is a crucial moment, and however it plays out it cannot end well. Obviously, with Frollo in the cupboard, Phoebus is stabbed, and she's accused of the crime. But, without Frollo in the cupboard to interrupt 'proceedings', she would most likely end up pregnant and abandoned. Either way, post the night with Phoebus, Esmeralda is most certainly in trouble.

So, yes, for me this is the definately the turning point of the book. Before it, everything else has just been laying the gunpowder, this is the scene that takes the match to it.
silverwhistle: Claudesilverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
I agree entirely, although I'd say that perhaps it's more Esméralda agreeing to met Phœbus – because, as you say, even without the stabbing, it would still have been a critical moment. Once she agrees to meet him, and Claude finds out via Jehan, everything unravels.
ALC: Frollo Cassock Ripjackks on February 1st, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
This is, of couse, playing the "IF" game. But, had Phoebus got it on with Esmeralda, and had Frollo only watched, had not attacked Phoebus, had not acted, then quite likely Esmeralda would have got pregnant. Unfortunate for her. However, had it gone this way, then the truely crashing consequences for all i.e. the deaths of Esmeralda, Frollo, Quasimodo, Jehan + gypsies + soldiers, would have been avoided.

Thus, I think the actual stabbing, not simply Esmeralda's choice to meet with Phoebus, the most critical moment for the whole narrative. It is from that act that the law gets involved, the matter is no longer "private", and events escalate well beyond a simple love triangle into the train wreck finale.
silverwhistle: Rudelsilverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, certainly in so far as it all going on to the public scale.
✖ Bleed Peroxide ✖: Emilie Autumn ★ Tasty Muffinsbleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
That's a really vital part of the story, I agree completely. Up until that point, Frollo wasn't attempting murder or basically setting up Esméralda up to get in trouble. But like you said, she would have been in deep trouble either way. Either she'd have his blood on her hands, or she'd end up like her mother was - pregnant and alone. Neither situation is bound to end well for a girl her age. Well, hell, for any woman in those times.
ALC: Frollo Slightly Madjackks on February 1st, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
she'd end up like her mother was - pregnant and alone.

She would have had to grow up quickly if such a thing had befallen her, certainly.

Also, it would have been interesting to see if Frollo would have reamained in "love" with her, if she was no longer pure, and had gotten pregnant via another man...
(no subject) - bleed_peroxide on February 1st, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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twolionsstwolionss on February 1st, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
There are so many defining moments in this novel. And not only in the actual time the novel takes place (I mean from January 6th 1482 and right to the end) - there are events shaping the heroes' destinies which happen long before that. The moment I would probably pick in the actual time frame of "Notre Dame de Paris" is a moment in the "Of the Result of Launching a String of Seven Oaths in a Public Square" chapter, when Phoebus, fed up with Fleur-de-Lys, her mom and her friends, starts swearing loudly outside the Gondelaurier mansion. Then Jehan hears him, calls him by his name, Claude hears that fateful name and, well, you know the rest. It's just before the stabbing scene.
silverwhistle: Unicorn Ladysilverwhistle on February 1st, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's where all the pieces fit together.
Reid: esmeraldaladybastet92 on February 1st, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
I don't think there is a single defining moment that changes everything. Like I mentioned in the last discussion, all the characters had moments where they could have made things right again. And besides, very rarely in life is there one defining moment; it's more made up of a series of events and realizations.

Probably the most significant however is when Frollo orders Quasimodo to capture Esmeralda (it gets the plot of the novel rolling), Esmeralda denying Frollo in her cell (she made the emotional choice, not the rational one), Quasimodo saving Esmeralda (but when you think about it, it really didn't change the fates of the characters too much in the end), and Esmeralda crying out Phoebus' name when she's in her mother's cell (she was so damn close).
✖ Bleed Peroxide ✖bleed_peroxide on February 2nd, 2010 04:49 am (UTC)
That's true - everything does seem to snowball, one event after another.

Ahh, the infamous "capture her" scene. That was when the shit really seemed to hit the fan, didn't it? :|
doink-chan: HoNDdoinkies on February 1st, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
The defining moments I would pick are:

- Frollo seeing Esmeralda dance in the square
- Frollo ordering Quasimodo to capture Esmeralda (thus having her meet Phoebus)
- when Esme yells for Phoebus in her mother's cell (if that doink had just been quiet...orz)
✖ Bleed Peroxide ✖bleed_peroxide on February 2nd, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
I agree with all of these! All three are such major moments that, at first, don't seem to be that important. Oh Hugo, how you deceive us.

when Esme yells for Phoebus in her mother's cell (if that doink had just been quiet...orz)

OH MY GOD, I KNOW. I facepalmed IRL when I read that D:
Эстелла Уильямовна Блэкestella_of_hope on February 2nd, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think so. Remember - the choice. They could change their deeds and - of course - everything how it turned out in every little part of the novel.