The Count of Montecristo refers to the name assumed by Edmond Dantes in order to take back what was stolen from him; his love.
Alexandre Dumas, pere, (1802-1870), prolific French playwright, historian, and author is best known today for his novel (first serialized in the magazine Le Siecle), The Three Musketeers (1844).
Alexandre Dumas pere was born on 24 July 1802 in the village of Villers-Cotterets, just outside of Paris, France, the third child born to Marie Louise Labouret, daughter of an inn keeper, and Thomas Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie (1762-1806) a military General under Napoleon. Alexandres grandfather, the Marquis Alexandre Davy de La Pailleterie (1710-1786) married a slave he fell in love with in San Domingo (now Haiti) named Marie Louise Cesette Dumas (d.1772). Thomas took her last name when he himself enlisted with the French army. After a falling out with Napoleon due to his criticism of the Egypt campaign, and a long imprisonment which left him in poor health, Thomas returned returned home a broken man with no pension. After his death the family was left in dire financial straits. Alexandres mother set her best efforts to providing an education for her son although he proved to be less than enthusiastic about it. He attended Abbe Gregoires school before finding employment with a local notary to help support the family.
In 1822 Dumas pere set off for Paris and was soon immersed in literary life. He worked as a scribe for the duc dOrleans, later to be King Louis Philippe when the 1830 revolution which Dumas pere participated in ousted King Charles X. He met noted playwrights and collaborated with them before making his own entrance to the stage at the Comedie francaise with his plays Henry III and His Court (1829), The Tower of Nesle (1832), Kean (1836), and his Byronic Antony (first performed in 1831) inspired by the works of Lord George Gordon Byron. An avid reader of William Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott, his dramas were immensely popular, being among the first of the Romantic Movement along with friend and sometimes rival Victor Hugos (1802-1885). They were a decided change from the neoclassic style that dominated Parisian stages at the time. During this period Dumas pere had a son, Alexandre fils (1824-1895) with his lover Marie Laure Catherine Labay (1794-1868) who also became a noted author and playwright, being admitted to the Academie francaise in 1874. Although Dumas pere kept up his womanising ways, in 1840 he married actress Ida Ferrier (1811-1859) and had an illegitimate daughter, Marie Alexandrine (b.1831) with Belle Kreilssamner (1803-1875).
After a short but terrifying bout of cholera during the epidemic of 1832, Dumas pere was ordered by his physician–“when they have nothing more to say” [from The Glacier Land (1852)]–to take a tour of Europe; on 21 July 1832 he left Paris and embarked on his first of many travels which took him to such countries as Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, England, Germany, and North Africa. As was his wont, he kept remarkable records of his adventures included in Travel Impressions: In Switzerland (1834), A Year in Florence (1841), From Paris to Cadiz (1847), The Caucasus (1859), and Travel Impressions: In Russia (1860).
Dumas pere continued his prodigious output of essays, short stories, and novels. With the success of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers he sought a place of refuge to concentrate on further writings. He bought land and built the Chateau de Monte Cristo (nicknamed Chateau dIf) in Port Marly, Yvelines, France, now a museum. There he worked when not lavishly entertaining guests, but it was not long before he had to sell it when his debts grew too much. In 1851 he fled to Brussels, Belgium to avoid creditors. Further titles published during this time were his Valois Romances including Queen Margot (1845), The Lady of Monsoreau (a.ka. Chicot the Jester (1845), and The Forty-Five Guardsmen (1847); and The Regents Daughter (1845), The Two Dianas (1846), The Black Tulip (1850), The Wolf Leader (1857), The Companions of Jehu (1857), and his autobiography Mes Memoires (written between 1852-55).
AAlexandre Dumas pere died on 5 December 1870 at his sons villa in Puys, near Dieppe, France. He was buried in the cemetery of Villers-Cotterets, but as of the year 2002 he now rests in the Pantheon in Paris, among other such notable French literary giants as Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire.
CHARACTERS AND THEIR CHARCTERIZATION
??? Edmond Dantes – The protagonist of the novel. Dantes is an intelligent, honest, and loving man who turns bitter and vengeful after he is framed for a crime he does not commit. When Dantes finds himself free and enormously wealthy, he takes it upon himself to act as the agent of Providence, rewarding those who have helped him in his plight and punishing those responsible for his years of agony.
??? The Count of Monte Cristo – The identity Dantes assumes when he emerges from prison and inherits his vast fortune. As a result, the Count of Monte Cristo is usually associated with a coldness and bitterness that comes from an existence based solely on vengeance.
??? Lord Wilmore – The identity of an eccentric English nobleman that Dantes assumes when committing acts of random generosity. Lord Wilmore contrasts sharply with Monte Cristo, who is associated with Dantes??™s acts of bitterness and cruelty. Appropriately, Monte Cristo cites Lord Wilmore as one of his enemies.
??? Abbe Busoni – Another of Dantes??™s false personas. The disguise of Abbe Busoni, an Italian priest, helps Dantes gain the trust of the people whom the count wants to manipulate because the name connotes religious authority.
??? Sinbad the Sailor – The name Dantes uses as the signature for his anonymous gift to Morrel. Sinbad the Sailor is also the persona Dantes adopts during his time in Italy.
??? Mercedes – Dantes??™s beautiful and good fiancee. Though Mercedes marries another man, Fernand Mondego, while Dantes is in prison, she never stops loving Dantes. Mercedes is one of the few whom Dantes both punishes (for her disloyalty) and rewards (for her enduring love and underlying goodness).
??? Abbe Faria – A priest and brilliant thinker whom Dantes meets in prison. Abbe Faria becomes Dantes??™s intellectual father: during their many years as prisoners, he teaches Dantes history, science, art, and many languages. He then bequeaths to Dantes his vast hidden fortune. Abbe Faria is the most important catalyst in Dantes??™s transformation into the vengeful Count of Monte Cristo.
??? Fernand Mondego – Dantes??™s rival for Mercedes??™ affections. Mondego helps in framing Dantes for treason and then marries Mercedes himself when Dantes is imprisoned. Through acts of treachery Mondego becomes a wealthy and powerful man and takes on the name of the Count de Morcerf. He is the first victim of Dantes??™s vengeance.
??? Baron Danglars – A greedy, envious cohort of Mondego. Danglars hatches the plot to frame Dantes for treason. Like Mondego, he becomes wealthy and powerful, but loses everything when Monte Cristo takes his revenge. Danglars??™s obsession with the accumulation of wealth makes him an easy target for Monte Cristo, who has seemingly limitless wealth on hand to exact his revenge.
??? Caderousse – A lazy, drunk, and greedy man. Caderousse is present when the plot to frame Dantes is hatched, but he does not take an active part in the crime. Unlike Danglars and Mondego, Caderousse never finds his fortune, instead making his living through petty crime and the occasional murder.
??? Gerard de Villefort? -? The blindly ambitious public prosecutor responsible for sentencing Dantes to life in prison. Like the others, Villefort eventually receives punishment from Dantes. Villefort stands out as Monte Cristo??™s biggest opposition, as he employs his own power to judge people and mete out punishments.
??? Monsieur Morrel ? -? The kind, honest shipowner who was once Dantes??™s boss. Morrel does everything in his power to free Dantes from prison and tries to save Dantes??™s father from death. When Dantes emerges from prison, he discovers that Morrel is about to descend into financial ruin, so he carries out an elaborate plot to save his one true friend.
??? Louis Dantes? -? Dantes??™s father. Grief-stricken, Louis Dantes starves himself to death when Dantes is imprisoned. It is primarily for his father??™s death that Dantes seeks vengeance.
??? Maximilian Morrel? -? The son of Monsieur Morrel. Brave and honorable like his father, Maximilian becomes Dantes??™s primary beneficiary. Maximilian and his love, Valentine, survive to the end of the story as two good and happy people, personally unaffected by the vices of power, wealth, and position.
??? Albert de Morcerf? -? The son of Fernand Mondego and Mercedes. Unlike his father, Albert is brave, honest, and kind. Mercedes??™s devotion to both Albert and Dantes allows Monte Cristo to realize her unchanging love for him and causes him to think more deeply about his sole desire for revenge.
??? Valentine Villefort? -? Villefort??™s saintly and beautiful daughter. Like Maximilian Morrel, her true love, she falls under Dantes??™s protection.
??? Noirtier? -? Villefort??™s father. Once a powerful French revolutionary, Noirtier is brilliant and willful, even when paralyzed by a stroke. He proves a worthy opponent to his son??™s selfish ambitions.
??? Haydee? -? The daughter of Ali Pacha, the vizier of the Greek state of Yanina. Haydee is sold into slavery after her father is betrayed by Mondego and murdered. Dantes purchases Haydee??™s freedom and watches her grow into adulthood, eventually falling in love with her.
??? Signor Bertuccio? -? Dantes??™s steward. Though Bertuccio is loyal and adept, Dantes chooses him as his steward not for his personal qualities but because of his vendetta against Villefort.
??? Benedetto? -? The illegitimate son of Villefort and Madame Danglars. Though raised lovingly by Bertuccio and Bertuccio??™s widowed sister-in-law, Benedetto nonetheless turns to a life of brutality and crime. Handsome, charming, and a wonderful liar, Benedetto plays the part of Andrea Cavalcanti in one of Dantes??™s elaborate revenge schemes.
??? Madame d??™Villefort? -? Villefort??™s murderous wife. Devoted wholly to her son Edward, Madame d??™Villefort turns to crime in order to ensure his fortune.
??? Julie Herbaut? -? The daughter of Monsieur Morrel and sister of Maximilian. Angelically good and blissfully in love, Julie and her husband, Emmanuel, prove to Monte Cristo that it is possible to be truly satisfied with one??™s life.
??? Emmanuel Herbaut? -? Julie??™s husband. Emmanuel is just as noble and perpetually happy as his wife, Julie.
??? Madame Danglars? -? Danglars??™s wife. Greedy, conniving, and disloyal, Madame Danglars engages in a never-ending string of love affairs that help bring her husband to the brink of financial ruin.
??? Eugenie Danglars? -? The Danglars??™ daughter. A brilliant musician, Eugenie longs for her independence and despises men. On the eve of her wedding, she flees for Italy with her true love, Louise d??™Armilly.
??? Louise d??™Armilly? -? Eugenie Danglars??™s music teacher and constant companion.
??? Lucien Debray? -? The secretary to the French minister of the interior. Debray illegally leaks government secrets to his lover, Madame Danglars, so that she can invest wisely with her husband??™s money.
??? Ali? -? Dantes??™s mute Nubian slave. Ali is amazingly adept with all sorts of weapons.
??? Luigi Vampa? -? A famous Roman bandit. Vampa is indebted to Dantes for once setting him free, and he puts himself at the service of Dantes??™s vengeful ends.
??? Major Cavalcanti? -? A poor and crooked man whom Dantes resurrects as a phony Italian nobleman.
??? Edward d??™Villefort? -? The Villeforts??™ spoiled son. Edward is an innocent victim of Dantes??™s elaborate revenge scheme.
??? Beauchamp? -? A well-known journalist and good friend to Albert de Morcerf.
??? Franz d??™Epinay? -? Another good friend to Albert de Morcerf. D??™Epinay is the unwanted fiance of Valentine Villefort.
??? Marquis of Saint-Meran? -? The father of Villefort??™s first wife, who dies shortly after her wedding day.
??? Marquise of Saint-Meran? -? The wife of the Marquis of Saint-Meran.
??? Jacopo? -? A smuggler who helps Dantes win his freedom. When Jacopo proves his selfless loyalty, Dantes rewards him by buying the poor man his own ship and crew.
??? Ali Pacha ? -? A Greek nationalist leader whom Mondego betrays. This betrayal leads to Ali Pacha??™s murder at the hands of the Turks and the seizure of his kingdom. Ali Pacha??™s wife and his daughter, Haydee, are sold into slavery.
??? Baron of Chateau-Renaud? -? An aristocrat and diplomat. Chateau-Renaud is nearly killed in battle in Constantinople, but Maximilian Morrel saves him at the last second. Chateau-Renaud introduces Maximilian into Parisian society, which leads to Maximilian and Dantes crossing paths.
??? Peppino? -? An Italian shepherd who has been arrested and sentenced to death for the crime of being an accomplice to bandits, when he merely provided them with food. Monte Cristo buys Peppino his freedom.
??? Countess G??” -? A beautiful Italian aristocrat who suspects that Monte Cristo is a vampire.
VOCABULARY OR KEY WORDS
1. Alacrity. Page 219
Liveliness and eagerness; “he accepted with alacrity”; “the smartness of the pace soon exhausted him.
Jose was waiting with alacrity for his Christmas present.
2. Perspicacious Page 251
Acutely insightful and wise; “much too perspicacious to be taken in by such a spurious argument”; “observant and thoughtful, he was given to …clear-eyed: mentally acute or penetratingly discerning; “too clear-eyed not to see what problems would follow”; “chaos could be prevented only by clear-sighted leadership”; “much too perspicacious to be taken in by so spurious an argument”
De forma perspicaz
The little girl showed to be perspicacious while talking to the teacher about her whereabouts while playing hide and seek.
3. Conscription Page 158
Compulsory military service.
Servicio militar compulsorio.
The father did not want to leave the family, but he was called to conscription.
4. Frejus Page137
Is a coastal town on the Cote dAzur and commune in the Var department.
Un pueblo de la costa de Cote dAzur
The trip to Ferjus was fascinating.
5. Entrusts Page 197
Made responsible for something
Ser responsable de algo.
The treasure was entrusted to the government.
Common misspelling of goddamn
Frase comun para denotar molestia.
Goddam! I was supposed to be in that car.
7. Curtsied Page 211
Respectful bow made by women, consisting of bending the knees and lowering the body.
Un gesto de respeto realizado por una mujer que consiste en doblar un poco las rodillas y bajar el cuerpo.
The Queen Isabell curtsied each of her guests prior to entering the ballroom.
8. Unprepossessing Page 3
The offer was unprepossessing, but he had no choice and accepted.
9. Velvety Page 13
Suggestive of or resembling velvet; smooth or soft.
Parecido a la tela de seda.
She a beautiful and velvety dress; she looked amazing.
10. Endeavored Page 97
To exert oneself to do or effect something; make an effort, strive.
Julio endeavored in order to obtain a good grade on the math class.
11. Pickaxe Page 111
The farmer used the pickaxe to take out the tree in order for the water to flow.
12. Brocades Page 227
Fabric woven with an elaborate raised design, often using gold or silver thread.
Tela elaborada con detalles a relieve, usualmente realizados con hilos en oro o plata.
The dress had brocades all over; she looked like a princess in her wedding dress.
13. Plucking Page 231
To pull off or out from the place of growth, as fruit, flowers, or feathers.
Arrancar del lugar de nacimiento como frutas, flores o plumas.
Ana was plucking the hen feathers and everyone was watching while she prepared to cook a great meal.
14. Catacombs Page 179
An underground cementary, one consisting of tunnels and romos with recesses dugo ut for coffins and tumbs.
Un cementerio bajo el nivel del terreno
The catacombs were a very scary place for everyone in the tour.
Rendezvous Page 180
An agreement to meet at a certain time or place.
Arreglo para encontrarse en algun lugar o a alguna hora.
The rendezvous was set for Wednesday afternoon.
Prosaic Page 198
Commonplace or dull.
Un lugar comun.
Einstein had a prosaic mind.
Probity Page 235
Integrity and uprightness; honesty.
Giving back the money to the people was an act of probity.
Cicerone Page 484
A guide who conducts sightseers
Guia de personas sin vision
She became his cicerone after the accident that almost cost him his life.
Expiation Page 485
The act of making amends
El acto de corregir
The dying woman needed expiation for her sins.
Quay Page 490
A landing place
Un lugar para aterrizar
The quay was vast enough for the boat.
Starboard Page 110
The right-hand side of or direction from a vessel or aircraft facing forward.
The ship was traveling starboard but the storm was hitting the boat very hard.
Discomfited Page 222
To confuse; to frustrate the plans
Frustar algun evento.
The plans were discomfited as a consequence of the accident.
Coquettishly Page 232
She was behaving too coquettishly for her age.
Garb Page 289
Fashion or mode of dress.
Moda para vestirse.
Her garb was the envy of every woman in the party.
Phlegmatically Page 384
Not easily excited to action or display of emotion.
No se exita facilmente.
She was acting phlegmatically; she seemed to be under the influence of some drug.
??? On the 24th of February, 1815, the watch-tower of Notre-Dame de la Garde signaled the arrival of the three master Pharaoh, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples. Chapter I, page 11.
??? Before him, at a distance of a hundred fathoms, rose the black, steep rock on which stood the frowning Chateau D??™If. Chapter VII, page 56.
??? Exalted by the feeling of liberty, Dantes continued to cleave the waves in what he reckoned should be a direct line for the Isle of Tiboulen. Chapter XVII, page 125
POINT OF VIEW
The novel is narrated by an anonymous voice; speaks in the third person, focusing almost entirely on outward action and behavior rather than delving into the psychological realities of the characters.
When Dantes escapes from prison, he is obsessed with gaining revenge against those who betrayed him, as well as rewarding those who remained loyal to him. The revenge theme drives the entire narrative, and Dantes, as Monte Cristo, pursues it patiently and ruthlessly. He believes he is one of those “extraordinary beings” who act as agents of divine Providence. He brings punishment when it is deserved and when it is due. Monte Cristo states this quite explicitly to Villefort when they first meet in Paris and engage in a philosophical discussion (Chapter 48, “Ideology”). Monte Cristo takes Villefort to task for thinking about justice only in terms of human law and society. He, on the other hand, is aware of a more profound reality. He tells the astonished Villefort of an encounter he had with Satan, in which he declared that “the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world is to recompense and punish.” Dantes requested that he become Providence itself. Satan told him that the most he could aspire to was to be an agent of Providence.
Eventually, Monte Cristo comes to see the limitations that attend a human being who seeks to appropriate to himself a function of the divine. Having previously used the Biblical notion that the sins of the father are visited on the children to justify the devastation he was prepared to wreak on whole families, he is brought up in shock at the death of the innocent nine-year-old Edouard. He realizes that even though Edouard is the son of Villefort, one of the guilty men, Edouard does not deserve the death he receives. For the first time, this supremely self-confident man doubts the wisdom of his mission of revenge. Monte Cristo feels he has gone too far and can no longer say, “God is for and with me.” With unaccustomed humility, he acknowledges to Maximilien that the gods operate with a kind of infallibility that is not permissible to a mere man. He leaves Paris with many regrets, although he tries to reassure himself that he never misused the power he was given for any “personal good or to any useless cause.” But he cannot shake off his misgivings: “Having reached the summit of his vengeance by a long and tortuous path, he saw an abyss of doubt on the other side of the mountain.” Although a visit to the Chateau dIf rekindles his sense of righteousness about his mission, fortifying him for his final revenge on Danglars, he is still a changed man. He tells Danglars that he forgives him, because Monte Cristo himself is in need of forgiveness for what he has done.
A t the age of nineteen, Edmond Dantes seems to have the perfect life. He is about to become the captain of a ship, he is engaged to a beautiful and kind young woman, Mercedes, and he is well liked by almost everyone who knows him. This perfect life, however, stirs up dangerous jealousy among some of Dantes??™s so-called friends. Danglars, the treasurer of Dantes??™s ship, envies Dantes??™s early career success; Fernand Mondego is in love with Dantes??™s fiancee and so covets his amorous success; his neighbor Caderousse is simply envious that Dantes is so much luckier in life than he is.
Together, these three men draft a letter accusing Dantes of treason. There is some truth to their accusations: as a favor to his recently deceased captain, Dantes is carrying a letter from Napoleon to a group of Bonapartist sympathizers in Paris. Though Dantes himself has no political leanings, the undertaking is enough to implicate him for treason. On the day of his wedding, Dantes is arrested for his alleged crimes.
The deputy public prosecutor, Villefort, sees through the plot to frame Dantes and is prepared to set him free. At the last moment, though, Dantes jeopardizes his freedom by revealing the name of the man to whom he is supposed to deliver Napoleon??™s letter. The man, Noirtier, is Villefort??™s father. Terrified that any public knowledge of his father??™s treasonous activities will thwart his own ambitions, Villefort decides to send Dantes to prison for life. Despite the entreaties of Monsieur Morrel, Dantes??™s kind and honest boss, Dantes is sent to the infamous Chateau d??™If, where the most dangerous political prisoners are kept.
While in prison, Dantes meets Abbe Faria, an Italian priest and intellectual, who has been jailed for his political views. Faria teaches Dantes history, science, philosophy, and languages, turning him into a well-educated man. Faria also bequeaths to Dantes a large treasure hidden on the island of Monte Cristo, and he tells him how to find it should he ever escape. When Faria dies, Dantes hides himself in the abbe??™s shroud, thinking that he will be buried and then dig his way out. Instead, Dantes is thrown into the sea, and is able to cut himself loose and swim to freedom.
Dantes travels to Monte Cristo and finds Faria??™s enormous treasure. He considers his fortune a gift from God, given to him for the sole purpose of rewarding those who have tried to help him and, more important, punishing those who have hurt him. Disguising himself as an Italian priest who answers to the name of Abbe Busoni, he travels back to Marseilles and visits Caderousse, who is now struggling to make a living as an innkeeper. From Caderousse he learns the details of the plot to frame him. In addition, Dantes learns that his father has died of grief in his absence and that Mercedes has married Fernand Mondego. Most frustrating, he learns that both Danglars and Mondego have become rich and powerful and are living happily in Paris. As a reward for this information, and for Caderousse??™s apparent regret over the part he played in Dantes??™s downfall, Dantes gives Caderousse a valuable diamond. Before leaving Marseilles, Dantes anonymously saves Morrel from financial ruin.
Ten years later, Dantes emerges in Rome, calling himself the Count of Monte Cristo. He seems to be all knowing and unstoppable. In Rome Dantes ingratiates himself to Albert de Morcerf, son of Fernand Mondego and Mercedes, by saving him from bandits. In return for the favor, Albert introduces Dantes to Parisian society. None of his old cohorts recognize the mysterious count as Edmond Dantes, though Mercedes does. Dantes is thus able to insinuate himself effortlessly into the lives of Danglars, Mondego, and Villefort. Armed with damning knowledge about each of them that he has gathered over the past decade, Dantes sets an elaborate scheme of revenge into motion.
Mondego, now known as the Count de Morcerf, is the first to be punished. Dantes exposes Morcerf??™s darkest secret: Morcerf made his fortune by betraying his former patron, the Greek vizier Ali Pacha, and he then sold Ali Pacha??™s wife and daughter into slavery. Ali Pacha??™s daughter, Haydee, who has lived with Dantes ever since he bought her freedom seven years earlier, testifies against Morcerf in front of the senate, irreversibly ruining his good name. Ashamed by Morcerf??™s treachery, Albert and Mercedes flee, leaving their tainted fortune behind. Morcerf commits suicide.
Villefort??™s punishment comes slowly and in several stages. Dantes first takes advantage of Madame de Villefort??™s murderous intent, subtly tutoring her in the uses of poison. As Madame de Villefort wreaks her havoc, killing off each member of the household in turn, Dantes plants the seeds for yet another public expose. In court, it is revealed that Villefort is guilty of attempted infanticide, as he tried to bury his illegitimate baby while it was still alive. Believing that everyone he loves is dead and knowing that he will soon have to answer severe criminal charges, Villefort goes insane.
For his revenge on Danglars, Dantes simply plays upon his enemy??™s greed. He opens various false credit accounts with Danglars that cost him vast amounts of money. He also manipulates Danglars??™s unfaithful and dishonest wife, costing Danglars more money, and helps Danglars??™s daughter, Eugenie, run away with her female companion. Finally, when Danglars is nearly broke and about to flee without paying any of his creditors, Dantes has the Italian bandit Luigi Vampa kidnap him and relieve him of his remaining money. Dantes spares Danglars??™s life, but leaves him penniless.
Meanwhile, as these acts of vengeance play out, Dantes also tries to complete one more act of goodness. Dantes wishes to help the brave and honorable Maximilian Morrel, the son of the kind shipowner, so he hatches an elaborate plot to save Maximilian??™s fiancee, Valentine Villefort, from her murderous stepmother, to ensure that the couple will be truly happy forever. Dantes gives Valentine a pill that makes her appear dead and then carries her off to the island of Monte Cristo. For a month Dantes allows Maximilian to believe that Valentine is dead, which causes Maximilian to long for death himself. Dantes then reveals that Valentine is alive. Having known the depths of despair, Maximilian is now able to experience the heights of ecstasy. Dantes too ultimately finds happiness, when he allows himself to fall in love with the adoring and beautiful Haydee.
??? Man vs. himself – Edmond Dantes takes justice into his own hands because he is dismayed by the limitations of society??™s criminal justice system. Societal justice has allowed his enemies to slip through the cracks, going unpunished for the heinous crimes they have committed against him. Moreover, even if his enemies??™ crimes were uncovered, Dantes does not believe that their punishment would be true justice. Though his enemies have caused him years of emotional anguish, the most that they themselves would be forced to suffer would be a few seconds of pain, followed by death. Considering himself an agent of Providence, Dantes aims to carry out divine justice where he feels human justice has failed. He sets out to punish his enemies as he believes they should be punished: by destroying all that is dear to them, just as they have done to him. Yet what Dantes ultimately learns, as he sometimes wreaks havoc in the lives of the innocent as well as the guilty, is that justice carried out by human beings is inherently limited. The limits of such justice lie in the limits of human beings themselves. Lacking God??™s omniscience and omnipotence, human beings are simply not capable of??”or justified in??”carrying out the work of Providence. Dumas??™s final message in this epic work of crime and punishment is that human beings must simply resign themselves to allowing God to reward and punish??”when and how God sees fit.
??? Man vs. man – Dantes??™s enemies betray him out of an envy that arises from just this problem: despite the blessings these men have in their own lives, Dantes??™s relatively superior position sends them into a rage of dissatisfaction. Caderousse exemplifies this psychological deficiency, finding fault in virtually every positive circumstance that life throws his way. Caderousse could easily be a happy man, as he is healthy, clever, and reasonably well off, yet he is unable to view his circumstances in such a way as to feel happy. At the other end of the spectrum are Julie and Emmanuel Herbaut??”they are fully capable of feeling happiness, even in the face of pressing poverty and other hardships. The Dantes of the early chapters, perfectly thrilled with the small happiness that God has granted him, provides another example of the good and easily satisfied man, while the Dantes of later chapters, who has emerged from prison unable to find happiness unless he exacts his complicated revenge, provides an example of the bad and unsatisfiable man.
The most important complications happens at the beginning of the story when Edmond is arrested without any reason and send to prison.
CLIMAX OR TURNING POINT
Dantes slowly brings complete devastation upon Caderousse, Fernand, Villefort, and Danglars.
Dantes enables the blissful union of Maximilian Morrel and Val-entine Villefort; Dantes finally opens himself to emotions other than gratitude and vengeance.
At the end the Count of Monte Cristo understands that his life is with the woman he loves, Heydee and leaves with her to be happy.
??? ???Oh, yes, I remember him perfectly, he died last February??? Page 165
??? Formerly there must have been a fireplace in my cell which was doubtless closed up sometime before I came. Page 91
??? My readers will remember that the new or rather old, acquaintances of the Count of Monte Cristo were Maximilian, Julie and Emmanuel. Page 269
??? Well, I selected the cartilages of the heads of these fishes, and you can scarcely imagine the delight with which I welcomed the arrival of each Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, as affording me the means of increasing my stock of pens; for I will freely confess that my historical labors have been my greatest solace and relief. Page 189
??? Now I remember quite well, that on the table round which they were sitting were pens, ink, and paper. Oh, the heartless, treacherous scoundrels!??? exclaimed Dantes, pressing his hand to his throbbing brows. Page 203
??? As he had twenty times touched at Leghorn, he remembered a barber in St. Ferdinand Street; he went there to have his beard and hair cut. Page 261
??? For a moment Dantes was speechless; then he remembered that these caves might have been filled up by some accident, or even stopped up, for the sake of greater security, by Cardinal Spada. Page 270
??? ???And now,??? he exclaimed, remembering the tale of the Arabian fisherman, which Faria had related to him, ???now, open sesame!??? Page 289
??? After dinner Morrel usually went out and used to take his coffee at the Phocaean club, and read the Semaphore. Page 353
??? Twice or thrice during the dance the young girl had glanced at Luigi, and each time she saw that he was pale and that his features were agitated, once even the blade of his knife, half drawn from its sheath, had dazzled her eyes with its sinister glare. Page 312
??? ???I . . . have been taken by Satan into the highest mountain in the earth, and when there he . . . said he to me, ???Child of earth, what wouldst thou have to make thee adore me??™ . . . I replied, ???Listen . . . I wish to be Providence myself, for I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world, is to recompense and punish.??™??? Page 259
MOOD OR TONE
??? He felt he had passed beyond the bounds of vengeance, and that he could no longer say, ???God is for and with me.??? Page 484
??? Oh, forgive me! Let me live! Remember that I am your wife! Page 561
??? ???Fernand, you mean, madame,??? returned Monte Cristo with bitter irony. Page 469
??? ???But remember this,??? continued M. d??™Avrigny solemnly and slowly. Page 444
??? ???Very well then??? the Marquise rejoined. Page 43
There two characters throughout this story that excels similar characteristics; Mercedes and Louis Dantes are capable of loving until the last consequences. The each knows that Edmond is not guilty of what he had been accused and furthermore is sure that he has the strength to overcome his destiny. They each lose their faith at the end of the road. Both characters have faith in humanity which is why they become victims.
The obvious difference is between Edmond and Fernand Mondego. While Edmond??™s life is all about family and being faithful; Fernand pots a series of events to send Edmond to prison, or worst yet, to die in order to gain the woman he claims to love.
There are two main characters with whom I felt identified. In first place the character of Edmond, not the Count of Monte Cristo. Edmond loved with all his heart, gave everything for his family and wanted to succeed in life. Never the less life had another destiny for him. The other character has to be Haydee; she loved the Count of Monte Cristo because she saw in him all the goodness. This man took her in when she needed it the most and she was grateful for such a noble action. She was patient until Monte Cristo saw in her all the love they had for each other. Even though there is no question that the motives of revenge were clear, Dumas made love triumph against all odds.
A good ending for this story would have been the reconciliation between Edmond and Mercedes. This possibility would provide a new ending, but under my point of view, the one provided to the reader by Alexandre Dumas is a very complete and coherent one.