The Count of Monte Cristo

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Theme:

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

castigation.

Setting:

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....
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