Love an Expression of Romantic thoughts and tragic Gothic Romantic writings By Courtney Duncan

Love is like a twisting vine on an enchanted climbing bush that bears every shade of roses. Be careful when you pick a rose from this bush because you maybe pierced by the thorns of a stem that bears a rose that presents a love story with a tragic conclusion.
Love stories consist of endings with a happy conclusion, unhappy or tragic ending. In the classic love stories of old, a happy conclusion was an ending of the plot of work of fiction in which almost everything turns out for the best for the hero or heroine, their sidekicks, and almost everyone except the villains.
Unhappy endings usually involve the protagonists and their sidekicks experiencing pain, and sadness, whereas the person pricked by a thorn from a tragic love story this pierce reveals pain so horrible, it could only be the thorn of a rose, which blooms death for the protagonists and the sidekicks.
A Doll’s House is a play by Henrik Ibsen and the “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” is a gothic novel by the writer Victor Hugo. These two stories are similar because they represent individuals pierced by thorns that present bad relationships. The causes of bad relationships exemplify submissive behaviour, one person loving the other more than they should and belonged to a lower economic or social status. The purpose of this paper is to compare the relationships in the novel titled Hunchback of Notre Dame and the play Titled Doll’s House. Both stories are similar because the social and economical positions of the characters play an important role in the treatment of the protagonist and the antagonist; nonetheless, there are glaring differences, which have symbolic semblance to the various shades of roses from this long lost enchanted rose bush. I will connect a rose to the main characters of the two stories.
In the play titled, “A Doll House,” Norah the female protagonist is exemplified by the dilemma of women living in nineteenth century Europe. For much of the play Norah is a beautiful, naïve, submissive woman whose only purpose in life is to please her husband Helmer. This submissive behaviour is noticed in the opening of the play when Helmer demands that his wife look him fully in the face then he says hasn’t the little sweet tooth been breaking the rules today.” Helmut calls her a sweet tooth because he suspects her of eating macaroons after Helmut as forbidden her to eat these chocolate candies. With increasing clarity, Nora comes to see her oppressive position in her marriage when her old school friend Christina comes for a visit.
Christina is an optimistic and independent woman whose husband died when she was at a young age. “Christina had to run a store, teach, or do anything to take care of her mother and two young brothers. Christina is poor but she realizes she is more free and independent than the privileged Norwegian bourgeoisie life that Nora leads.” Christina awakens Nora to the advantages of an independent woman. Nora’s believes that a woman like Christina would look down upon her because she has no real experience outside of the home. The social and political laws of the nineteenth century were in no circumstances favourable to females, trapped in subjugated and submissive relationships in comparison to their male counterpart. Women like Norah realized that their husbands expected them to take care of the household and the matriarch every sexual whim, thus mentally abusing them. Norah social life and women of the nineteenth century social world was no better than a bonds servant or slave because she had no opportunities to do things for herself.
In the gothic novel titled Hunchback of Notre Dame, submission is also the key to tragic or unhappy love and its manifestation in different contexts. The character that exudes the most submissive behaviour is Quasimodo.
As an infant, Claude Frollo who made him a bell ringer in the famous cathedral of the Notre Dame adopted Quasimodo. Quasimodo is deaf and deformed in one eye but he has a beautiful heart, which is on display, when he rescues La Esmeralda the beautiful gypsy street dancer from the Parisian guillotine. Quasimodo loves La Esmeralda because she gave him a drink of water to parch his thirst, when the Parisian guards were punishing him for rescuing her. Quasimodo loves La Esmeralda but she cannot return that love because he is too ugly and deformed. Nonetheless, she grows fond of him because she sees him as protection from the evil bishop Frollo who later realizes that La Esmeralda is seeking sanctuary in the cathedral of Notre Dame.
Quasimodo is submissive because 15th century Parisian commonly degraded people who were diseased, deformed, or ugly. In the medieval ages, society had always banned or ostracized the invalid because they believed that God somehow punished these people. Quasimodo only escape from the cruel citizens was the dark shadows and somewhat peaceful tranquility of Notre Dame Cathedral. Initially, Quasimodo relationship with La Esmeralda symbolizes the burgundy rose of beauty and the light pink rose of admiration. As the story concludes, the reader realizes that Quasimodo relationship with La Esmeralda best exemplifies eternal love because he would gladly die for her, but its eternal love from the vine of the black rose whose prick represents death to the characters involved.
Eternal love also revealed a haunting and depressing truth in the relationship between Norah and her husband Torvald in the play titled, “A Doll’s House.” Norah wedding was a fairy tale; all she wanted was to revolve her entire life around pleasing Torvald. Norah would wear special clothes for Torvald or only eat certain foods because Torvald willed this of her.
When Krogstad threatened to reveal to Nora’s husband that she had borrowed money from him and had also forged her father’s signature, she was consumed by fear. Nora worries because of the shame to her family and she realizes that she will lose the trust of Torvald.
Krogstad writes two letters, the first reveals Nora’s crime of borrowing money and forgery. The first letter, which Krogstad places in Torvald’s letterbox near the end of Act 2, represents the truth about Nora’s past and initiates the ending of her marriage. The letters represents her release from a chaotic and oppressing marriage. More importantly, a clearer understanding that the person she loves only attempts to return her to a subjugated trophy or property wife denying her of freedom and dignity. The letters have exposed her husband for his self-centredness, which awakens Norah to her destitute position as trophy or doll’s house wife. Norah relationship with her husband was a selfish one-sided love affair because she sacrificed everything for his well-being and he showed is gratitude by complaining about his self-honour. Norah relationship with Torvald initially signifies the lilac rose, which means love at first site. However, as the story concludes the rose changes to variety of colours such as yellow for joy and red for courage. These two colours are synonymous with Norah new freedom and courage to make changes for nineteenth century women.
The final factor in a bad relationship is the economical and social background of the couples involved in the liaisons. In the play titled the Doll’s House, Nora reveals to her friend Christina how she borrowed money for a trip to Italy to save her husband’s life. Christina tells Nora she does not understand why a wife cannot borrow money without her husband’s consent. This is further evidence of the subjugated position of 19th century women. Money was not the only issue; women’s freedoms were lost once they were married, these right constituted the right to vote, own property and work. Therefore, borrowing money from Krogstad would have been socially and morally unethical, because Krogstad was an outcast of society who had once forged signatures. Krogstad reason for committing this crime is solely the purpose of love of an unattainable woman. In the nineteenth century, wealth was an important attribute to marriage and courtship. The relationship between Christina and Krogstad failed because he did not have the economical means to support a woman of Christina status.
During the nineteenth century, marriage for love was unattainable, people married to unite homes and secure personal wealth. It was rare to see men and women marrying above their social status. Besides wealth, other factors in courtship were ethnicity, religion and education. Torvald married Norah because he wanted a beautiful trophy wife. This was normal in the Victorian period because it was common for men to marry wealthy women within their station, only to have these women bare them a healthy heir. Nora knew too well, what society expected of them. It was shameful to marry a lower social caste because of bankruptcy or an ill-advised marriage. The relationship between Christina and Krogstad initially represents the thorn of the black rose, which symbolizes the ending of a relationship or death, but we soon realize that this rose changes to a hot pink and yellow, the hot pink represents gratitude and the yellow personifies joy at finding a lost love.
Parisians during the 14th century followed the laws of a social caste system. For example, “Bishop Frollo belonged to one of those middle-class families known as indifferently, in the impertinent language of the last century, the high bourgeoisie, or the petty nobility. This family had inherited from the brothers Paclet the fief of Tirechappe, which was dependent upon the Bishop of Paris, and whose twenty-one houses had been in the thirteenth century the object of so many suits before the official.” To continue, Captain Phoebus the King of the Captains Archers does not love La Esmeralda but he willing seduces her like all the other women and prostitutes he has had sexual liaison. La Esmeralda loves him, but he is destined to marry a woman of his somewhat noble upbringing. Left for dead after bishop Frollo stabs him Captain Phoebus makes a remarkable recovery and marries Fleur-de-Lys de Gondelaurier. This marriage destroys La Esmeralda, who has been looking for love all her life. Paris is a city of orphans in the 15th century. La Esmeralda is looking for her long lost mother who happens to be Sister Gudule a miserable woman living in the Tour Roland, who hates to hear the sound of children playing because gypsies stole her daughter and she hates all gypsies. When she learns that La Esmeralda is actually her daughter, Gudule gives her life to save her.
La Esmeralda believes that Captain Phoebus has come to rescue her and she comes out of her hiding place that her long lost mother Sister Gudule has provided for her. Everyone admires Captain Phoebus because he is from a privileged society. Parisians only see his good look whereas; La Esmeralda is an Egyptian gypsy who represents a lower caste to the first and second estate, moreover, outcast to all Parisians because she is a gypsy. La Esmeralda, is given one last chance, but she refuses to become a concubine of bishop Frollo and she dies for her belief and hope for love. Quasimodo lifts his eye to the gypsy, whose body; suspended from the scaffold he states these words, ‘All that I have ever loved! Hence, three people die because love was not meant to be. The rose that symbolizes the relationship between La Esmeralda and her long lost mother is white and red rose, which symbolizes unity. Unfortunately, this rose changes its lovely red and white hue to the deeply black rose of death, which presented death For Frollo, Gudule, Quasimodo, La Esmeralda and unhappiness for the wicked Captain Frollo.
These plays reveal glaring similarities such as Dr Rank a family friend, revealing that he is terminally ill and he has secretly loved Norah. In addition, Bishop Frollo’s sinister and inappropriate bribery and confession of love to La Esmeralda.These were glaring similarities that evidently paved the way for a sad ending in both stories. There are many instances of similarities in the relationships of the two texts such as finding long lost love.
This was the case of Krogstad and Christina finding each other after years of soul searching. La Esmeralda also found her mother sister Gudule at the climax of the story and the female protagonist finally found peace though La Esmeralda peace came through death.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame and A Doll’s House are similar because the characters experience pain and they find each other after years of searching. However, the genre of the two stories is different as emphasized by the enchanted climbing rose bush in our essay. Everyone wishes for a knight in shining armour to rescue a princess because this brings a happy conclusion.
Although Christina and Krogstad find each other, the play titled a Doll’s House as an unhappy ending because the protagonist gives up the comforts of home and an ambitious husband to gain an uneasy freedom. The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a tragic ending because the secondary characters find and lose each other thus revealing to the protagonist that her true love only used her and the only freedom from this world is death. Death is a thorn entwined with the thorn of unhappiness yet still and eternity from unhappiness, which resides in the real world whereas death is from the otherworld. Like the two vines entwined together on the same enchanted rose bush but blooming different roses, the play titled A Doll’s House emphasizes a rose that progresses to all shades of flowers but eternally it could never remain black meaning hope for women and lovers. On the contrary, the rose that best exemplifies the novel titled, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this rose initially exhibits vibrant colours, but it ultimately must remains a shade of black in the end to personify tragedy and death.

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