The Count of Monte Cristo

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.

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.