The Count of Monte Cristo


 The Count of Monte Cristo is a very powerful book. 
So powerful in fact, that was controversial when it was 
first released. The Catholic church in France condemned it 
because of its powerful message it presented the reader. 
This theme was one of revenge and vengeance. Monte Cristo 
had two goals- to reward those who were kind to him and his 
aging father, and to punish those responsible for his 
imprisonment and suffering. For the latter, he plans slow 
and painful punishment. To have spent fourteen years barely 
subsisting in a dungeon demands cruel and prolonged 

 The Count of Monte Cristo is set within the 
nineteenth century of France in large and populous cities. 
This was a time of great disruption. There was confusion all 
over the land in regards to who led France, King Louis or 
Napoleon. The citizens of France became divided by the two 
ruling parties. Royalists and the Bonapartist cut at each 
others throats in order to declare that their ruler was 
supreme. This situation has a profound effect on the events 
of the story. Dantes' enemies used the rivalry between the 
two parties in order to convince the Royalists that Edmond 
is a Bonapartist, therefore it is the basis for his arrest 
and inevitable captivity in the Chateau D'If..

Basic Plot:
 The Count of Monte Cristo is a story about a sailor, 
Edmond Dantes, who was betrayed during the prime of his 
life and career by the jealousy of his friends. His 
shipmate, Danglars, coveted his designation as the captain 
of the mighty Pharon. Ferdinand Mondego wished to wed 
Mercedes, who was affianced to Edmond.
 Danglars and Ferdinand wrote a letter accusing 
Edmond of carrying a letter from Elba to the Bonapartist 
committee in Paris. Caderousse, a neighbor, learned of the 
plot but kept silent. On his wedding day Edmond was arrested 
and taken before a deputy named Villefort, a political 
apostate, who, to protect himself, had Edmond secretly 
imprisoned in the deepest dungeons of the Chateau D'If. 
There Dantes' incarceration was secured by the plotting of 
his enemies outside the prison, particularly towards 
Villefort, who wished to cover up his own father's 
connections with the Bonapartists. Dantes suffered for 
fourteen grueling years. While in prison, he was determined 
to escape and began digging a tunnel in hopes that it would 
lead to freedom. During this exercise, he met an elderly 
inmate named Abbe Faria whose attempt to dig his way to his 
salvation had led him only to Edmond's cell. The two meet 
daily and an incredible relationship flourished. The old man 
taught Edmond history, mathematics, and languages. In 
Edmond's fourteenth year, Faria became mortally ill. The 
wise elder told Edmond where to find a massive buried 
fortune. When Faria finally did die, his body was placed in 
a burial sac. Edmond seized the opportunity of escaping and 
replaced Faria's corpse with himself. Jailers threw the sack 
into the sea which allowed Dantes to escape. He is rescued 
by a passing ship which gives him a position on the boat. 
After paying homage for the noble act, Dantes recovered the 
buried treasure and became extremely wealthy. He returned as 
the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo and dazzled all of 
Paris with his extreme wealth and social graces and also he 
ingeniously managed to be introduced to the cream of French 
society, among who he goes unrecognized. But, Monte Cristo, 
in contrariety, recognized all of his enemies, which now are 
all powerful and influential men. Therefore, he was slowly 
plotting the ruin of the four men who had caused him to be 
sent to the Chateau D'If. 
 Ferdinand had married Mercedes and was now the Count 
de Morcef. Monte Cristo released information to the press 
that proved that Morcef is a traitor, and Morcef is ruined 
socially. Then Monte Cristo destroyed Morcef's relationship 
with his family, whom he adored. When they leave him, he was 
so distraught that he committed suicide.
 To revenge himself on Caderousse, Monte Cristo 
easily trapped Caderousse because of his voracious greed. 
Monte Cristo awakened this greed with the gift of a diamond. 
Later, urged by his wife, Caderousse committed robbery and 
murder. Now escaped from prison, Caderousse unsuccessfully 
attempted to rob Monte Cristo. The Count watched as one of 
Caderousse's companions mortally wounding him. As the man 
lay dying, Monte Cristo exposed his true name- Edmond 
Dantes. To revenge himself on Danglars, who loves money more 
than life it self, Monte Cristo ruins him financially. To 
revenge himself on Villefront, Monte Cristo slowly reveals 
to Villefront that he knows about a love affair that 
Villefront had long ago with Madam Danglars. He also 
revealed to him, by hints, that he knows about the 
illegitimate child whom he fathered, a child whom Villefront 
had believed to be buried alive. The child lived, however, 
and was now engaged to Mademoiselle Danglars, who is really 
his half-sister. 
 Ironically, Villefront's wives proves to be more 
villainous than her husband, for she poisons her parents and 
her daughter so that her real son can have the full 
inheritance. Villefront, however, discovers the plot and 
Threatens to kill her if she doesn't do it first, and so she 
kills herself and her son. 
 The Count had rescued Valentine from a drug induced 
coma and reunited her with her love, Maximilian, on the 
island of Monte Cristo leaving the two young loves his 
entire fortune. The Count sailed off into the sunset never 
to be seen again.

Major Characters:
 Edmond Dantes (alias the Count of Monte Cristo, 
Sinbad the Sailor, Abbe Busoni, and Lord Wilmore) 
Edmond Dantes is the dashing and idyllic champion of the 
novel. He is a sailor who, at the prime of his life and 
career, is betrayed by close friends because of their 
jealousy. He is imprisoned for fourteen grueling years 
during his imprisonment he meets another prisoner named Abbe 
Faria, who teaches Dantes many languages, sciences, history 
and other subjects, they become like father and son, and 
when the Abbe was about to die, he revealed to Dantes the 
hiding place of a long-secret buried treasure consisting of 
untold wealth, diamond, gold coins, and other precious 
jewelry. After his miraculous escape from the prison, 
Dantes recovers buried treasure on the island of Monte 
Cristo. The rest of his life is spent, at first, performing 
acts of goodness and charity for the good people whom he has 
known, then he devotes his life to brining about gods 
retribution against the evil people who were responsible for 
his imprisonment.

 Monsieur De Villefort 

 Villefort is the type of person, as describe 
early in the novel, which sacrifice anything to his 
ambition, even his own father. Villefort, the prosecuting 
attorney, is most responsible for the suffering of Dantes 
because it was he who ordered that Edmond be sent to prison 
which ignited his spark for revenge. Villefort is willing to 
have an innocent man imprisoned for life. Thus, he becomes 
the central enemy against whom the Count of Monte Cristo 
affects revenge.

 Fernand Mondego (alias the Count de Morcerf)

 During the time in which Edmond was a 
sailor, Fernand was a simple fisherman and sometime smuggler 
who was in love with the same woman whom Edmond Dantes was 
ingaged to. Because of his jealousy, Fernand mailed the 
letter condemning Dantes, hoping that if Dantes was 
arrested, he would then be able to marry Mercedes. Fernand 
gained much wealth by smuggling and by betraying the great 
Ali Pasha. When all of his treachery was exposed, he 
discovers that his wife and son have deserted him, thus he 
commits suicide.


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