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    For my A2 English Literature coursework I want to look at the representation of deformity. I know I definitely want to use The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo but need another novel to compare it with. Any one got any ideas of books which have a deformed character? Preferably being a protagonist or main character so there's plenty to write about.

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    (Original post by reecemurrell)
    For my A2 English Literature coursework I want to look at the representation of deformity. I know I definitely want to use The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo but need another novel to compare it with. Any one got any ideas of books which have a deformed character? Preferably being a protagonist or main character so there's plenty to write about.

    Thanks
    You could use Richard III by Shakespeare - lots of references in that to how Richard's deformity is related to his wicked character - quite interesting from the perspective of Elizabethan propaganda as well. Or is it just novels you have to compare as opposed to drama?
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    (Original post by reecemurrell)
    For my A2 English Literature coursework I want to look at the representation of deformity. I know I definitely want to use The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo but need another novel to compare it with. Any one got any ideas of books which have a deformed character? Preferably being a protagonist or main character so there's plenty to write about.

    Thanks
    This is a really intriguing topic. You could compare physical deformity to mental deformity in terms of mental illness? Let me know if you'd prefer this option, if not then you could pick The Wasp Factory. I can't tell you too much without spoiling the whole plot but the protagonist acts a certain way because of how they feel and look to the outside world. But when it comes to the end of the novel, some things are not what they seem. It's a short novel and one of the greatest modern fiction in the 20th Century. It's said to be a Gothic novel. Not in terms of monsters and etc, but in terms of its isolated setting and chaotic characters. Think of Shutter Island and their suspense.

    Physical deformity is one of the biggest topics written in WW1 Literature. Such as limbs being severed, deformities of the face and etc. I've never read Notre-Dame, so I don't know what it's about or signifies. But for WW1 Lit you could look into how a man goes to war, and comes back changed and crippled by the physical consequences of war and how either their partner still loves them or doesn't love them.
    This happens in Lady Chatterley's Lover. Her husband comes back from WW1 and is deformed in some sense. I think he loses his legs or use of his legs. This takes a toll on their sex life and Lady has an affair.
    Similar in The Go-Between. The female protagonist's mother wants her to marry a man who has come back from WW1, but because of his severe face injuries, the young woman does not want to marry him and has an affair with someone who is outside her social class that ends up in total disaster. [NB: It was written in the 1953, but reads more like a Victorian novel because it's set at the beginning of the Edwardian Era] One of my fav novels!
    Atonement also deals with the physical consequences of WW2 I think. Might be WW1. I can't remember. But all the same anyway. It's a big book though!

    I hope this helps you a little. Feel free to ask anymore questions.
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    Richard III is a good one. How about Frankenstein? Here you can talk about the monsters physical deformity as well as the mental side/obsession stemming from Frankenstein himself... There's plenty of characters in the Odyssey who do not conform to 'normal' (not sure if it's ideal though as a lot of characters are Gods)... Grendell in Beowulf would be a good one. Have you also considered looking at characters from famous myths and legends? Such as Medusa from Greek mythology ☺️ Hope this helps!
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    How about:

    Smike in Nicholas Nickleby

    Tyrion Lannister in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels

    The Phantom of the Opera

    Long John Silver in Treasure Island
 
 
 
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