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"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" as a way of teaching about the concept of oppression

1) How would a teacher in the sociology department of a college justify using the film "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" as a way of teaching about the concept of oppression? Even though other instructors might say that because it is so old, it is not relevant to today's world, how could the teacher still justify this as a teaching tool?

2) How could one make an argument for using this film to teach about the concept of oppression, using examples from the film?

3) What different forms of oppression could be taught through this film and what details would be best to use to get the concept across?

4) What are some appropriate parts of the film which support why and how this film can be used to teach oppression in college sociology?

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To begin with, here are several synopses of the 1939 film.

(From www.allmovie.com)
Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Few will argue with the contention that RKO Radio's 1939 adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the best of the many screen versions of the Hugo classic. We say this even allowing for certain liberties taken with the source material-liberties calculated by scenarists Sonya Levien and Bruno Frank to draw parallels between 15th century Paris and 20th century Europe. Thus, Claude Frollo (Cedric Hardwicke), the villain of the piece, is no longer merely a religious hypocrite unable to control his own carnal desires. Instead, Frollo is a bush-league Hitler, warning that the invention of the printing press is dangerous in that it will encourage the rabble to think for themselves, and plotting the persecution and destruction of the "undesirable" gypsies. In the same vein, Gringoire the Poet (Edmond O'Brien in his film debut) has been transformed into an agit-prop "Group Theatre" activist, bent on bringing the unvarnished truth to the ignorant Parisians. Many of Hugo's subplots have been dispensed with, the better to concentrate on the grotesquely deformed Quasimodo (Charles Laughton), bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and his puppylike loyalty towards imperiled gypsy dancer Esmerelda (Maureen O'Hara, in her first American film appearance). The schism between the haves and have-nots in the walled city of Paris is illustrated in broad, visually dynamic strokes by director William Dieterle.

(From the Internet Movie Database, contributed by Steve Marcantonio)
Ignorance, cruelty and superstition pervade France of the fifteenth century. Frollo, the King's high justice, exploits these evils, persecuting the gypsies and opposing any mode of progress. When the lovely gypsy dancer Esmeralda is threatened by the King's men, she seeks refuge in a church, Notre Dame, where she meets the grotesque hunchback Quasimodo. Frollo, who is Quasimodo's guardian, orders the hunchback to take the girl captive, and Esmeralda, terrified, escapes to the underworld of Clopin and his beggars. There, she saves the life of the poet Gringoire by consenting to take him as her husband, although she truly ...

Solution Summary

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" as a way of teaching about the concept of oppression is justified.