© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

by Brian Selznick

Isolation Theme

Georges Méliès used to be a legend (in fact, is still a legend) in the film industry, and yet he doesn’t talk to anyone that he used to work with. He doesn’t watch any of his old movies. In fact, people think he’s dead. So you might say he’s been exiled from his own past. But it's a self-imposed exile, and it takes quite a bit of prodding to nudge him out of his isolation and into the world again. Good thing Hugo and Isabelle are up to the task. And in the end, that's what The Invention of Hugo Cabret is all about—the togetherness that family and friends bring, even to the loneliest of people.

Questions About Isolation

  1. What’s the deal with Papa Georges? Why doesn’t he have any friends? Why does he exile himself?
  2. Why does Hugo get so nervous whenever he leaves the train station? Is he in an exile of sorts?
  3. Why is Mama Jeanne so intent on keeping out visitors and people who know that Papa Georges was a filmmaker?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Papa Georges locks himself away and brings his own misery upon himself.

Hugo may run from the Station Inspector, but in the way, the train station is already a kind of prison for him—one that’s all too hard to leave.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement