|pic: from amazon.com|
A foundling, Quasimodo who was one eyed with a huge wart on his eye, and a large hunchback, was trained by the Archdeacon of the Cathedral to be a bell ringer, a 'job' which renders him deaf as well.
Poor Quasimodo is a social outcast because of his malformed body and yet nothing the society did could diminish the kindness and love his heart was capable of feeling. His love for the gypsy Esmeralda goes beyond life into death. The tragedy is that even though Esmeralda recognized his kind heart she could not bring herself to overlook the physical deformation of Quasimodo.
All the characters in the book are illusory contradictions in the sense that their physical representation has nothing much to do with their mental or moral makeup. The handsome Captain turns out to be quite a louse. The beautiful Esmeralda turns out to be superficial and incapable of seeing past outer traits. In the same vein, Quasimodo's heart wrenching plight in life is that his physical deformation lies in direct contradiction with his power to love and love purely.