Louise Bertin's La Esmeralda (1836) was the first operatic adaptation of Victor Hugo's Notre-dame de Paris. Hugo himself wrote the libretto, and he expressly chose Bertin over Rossini and Meyerbeer. An analysis of Bertin's setting yields general insights into musical-symbolic representations of literary characters, specifically through the use of non-third-related tonal pairings. My thesis is that Bertin establishes a dichotomy between F#--the key of Notre-dame's bells--and F♮. She uses the aural decay of F# to F♮ as a representation of the cathedral's physical decay, as well as Frollo's moral decay. The connection of F♮ to moral decay is supported by the fact that Frollo (the corrupt priest) champions F Major; meanwhile, Quasimodo champions C (the dominant of F), representing his status as Frollo's servant. Through these symbolisms, Bertin eloquently comments on Hugo's novel.