It was Quasimodo Sunday, one week after Easter. The child who had been left that day was being inspected by two old women. “How strange! What can it be?” “It can’t really be a child, Agnes. Maybe it’s a deformed ape.” “It’s so ugly! Perhaps we should throw it into the river or the fire.” “Surely no one will claim this one! I don’t think it’s really a baby. My guess is that this ittle monster is about four years old.” Indeed, it was not a newborn baby. It was a twitching mass of humanity in a canvas bag. The head peeping out was very disfigured! There was a forest of red hair, one eye, a mouth, and a few teeth. The eye was weeping, the mouth was crying, and the teeth seemed to want only to bite.

Dose it mean that he was a creature that was made suddenly and carelessly in a short time?

Can we say here "mass" is: creature?

This context is from: The Hunchback of Notre dame adapted by Emily Hutchinson.

  • Ref. OP's previous question. Feb 17, 2019 at 20:43
  • but it was another question! Feb 17, 2019 at 20:45
  • 1
    Yes, just showing some history. Feb 17, 2019 at 20:47
  • 1
    The rest of the quotation illustrates what is meant - and remember that a comment on the previous question points out that it is a translation from French. Feb 17, 2019 at 21:02
  • OP, you really need to get used to figurative language in literature. Otherwise you are going to have a question for every other sentence you read.
    – Robusto
    Feb 17, 2019 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


In this quote, the word mass would most nearly mean "large amount of." This is seen in definition 1a of the second noun on Marriam-Webster.

The entire phrase means that there was a human in the bag, and it was large and twitching.

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