Book 1; Night Not as Black as Man

Book 1, Chapter 1; Portland Bill

Classic Victor Hugo long descriptions here. Not going to lie, it took my a while to get through this chapter. Like so long that I don’t recall it. I mean they are masterful descriptions but it didn’t pull me into the book.

Hugo describes harshness and cold of January 1690 in England along the Portland coast of cliffs. It is from the perspective of a hooker, a boat. At the end of the chapter we see a group of people in rags with a child.

The chapter does communicate a sense of dread and cruelty but it’s a chore to read then again Hunchback doesn’t have the most stellar opening chapters so I forgive it.

Book 1, Chapter 2; Left Alone

This chapter describes the group of people from the end of the last chapter more. They are Spanish in fashion as that is just the style in England at the time. The kid with them is a boy about ten years old and he is a slave of the group of people.

The boat docks and the group gets on leaving the boy behind.

It’s an okay chapter but I kinda forgot it as I was working on this post. Like I wrote the first paragraph for this chapter and did something else, thought I was done and wrote the next chapter and then looked back and forgot to included the part where the kid was left alone. In my defense though, I don’t have a defense.

Book 1, Chapter 3; Alone

If you haven’t guess it yet, this chapter is about how the boy is alone. Again it’s very nice descriptions of the cold dark night that this poor child is left in. The way Hugo describes it, it seems unpleasant yet very dream-like. You feel for the poor child in the dark but he also free from the people he worked for.

I liked this chapter more than the other two so far but the descriptions of the boat leaving went on forever but it was to indicate that as the boy watches the ship leave the reality of being left alone is sinking in.

Book 1, Chapter 4; Questions

So no joke, I watched a bit of Love Never Dies the day I read this chapter and one of the songs is Devil Take the Hindmost and behold that expression is in this chapter (gleeful laugh). The expression is an imprecation that everyone should look after there own interests. And on a huge side note, I have been one a Phantom kick of late.

Anyway back to the chapter…

So this chapter is quite short, which I don’t mind admitting I like. It’s just tells us the since England and Europe are cracking down on the child-traders, the Comprachicos they and other vagabonds families started abandoning children out of fear and convenience. That’s it, though the chapter pretty flat says that they group who abandoned the boy were Comprachicos, so it answered its own question.

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