Study Guide

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Part 2, Chapter 1

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Part 2, Chapter 1

The Signature

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  • To Hugo, that drawing is totally familiar. In fact, it’s a scene from his father’s favorite movie. So the message must be from his father, right?
  • As he’s thinking about this, the mechanical man dips its pen into ink again and signs a name. What could this name be? Time for an…
  • Illustration
  • The nib of the pen swirls a rather complicated looking signature: “Georges Méliès.”
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  • Isabelle exclaims that it’s Papa Georges’ (the old man’s) name, and demands to know where Hugo got the machine from, because he must have stolen that, too.
  • Even though Hugo insists the automaton is his father's Isabelle takes away the key and grabs the drawing of the moon from the desk.
  • Hugo and Isabelle struggle over the piece of paper until it rips. Isabelle takes her piece and runs out of the train station. She wants to go home and ask Mama Jeanne (Papa Georges’ wife) what’s going on.
  • As they run through the streets, Hugo asks Isabelle where she got the key, but of course they’re both playing their cards close to the vest. Or, maybe they’re just both really stubborn. In any case, she refuses to answer.
  • When they arrive at the apartment, Isabelle opens the door and slams it on Hugo's hand, which was on the door jam to keep it open.
  • Enter Mama Jeanne. She comes downstairs and checks on Hugo’s hand, and then gives him some chips of ice in a cloth napkin.
  • Okay. Enough first aid. On to solving the mystery. Or at least trying to.
  • Hugo gives Mama Jeanne his half of the drawing and asks her about it. She stares at it and asks where they got it. When Hugo says that a mechanical man drew it, she says it’s not possible.
  • Hugo says he has the mechanical man, but Mama Jeanne still won't believe.
  • Then Hugo says that he found it after the museum fire and that he made it work with Isabelle’s key—and Isabelle has to admit that she stole the key from Mama Jeanne.
  • Poor Mama Jeanne. She’s just being hit with more and more surprises.
  • Mama Jeanne tells hem to go into the bedroom and to not let Papa Georges see the drawing—or know anything about it.
  • She ends with the rather ominous statement that she must protect her husband. But from what?

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