Book III Analysis
This section is very typical of Hugo's fiction in that it explores trends over long swaths of time and seeks to connect the machinations of man with the flow of history and the caprices of nature. From the specific architecture of Notre Dame he launches into a detailed study of Paris at the end of the Middle Age and a discourse upon the manner in which the city grew over time. His description of the various officials who held power in different parts of the city reveals the confusion and inefficiency of power attendant to the times. Much like the bird's eye view of Paris he described in Les Miserables Hugo uses the view from atop one of Notre Dame's towers to orient the reader.