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..
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....