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Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Count Of Monte Cristo - 5675 words
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Amberlyn Beleche6-20-05Chapters 1-5The Count of Monte Cristo JournalIn the beginning of the book The Count of Monte Cristo we meet Edmond Dant`es; he comes across as a model of honesty, ability, and innocence. "He was a fine tall, slim young fellow, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a ravens wing; and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger (pg 4)." Regardless of his youth, he is a useful leader to his sailors. He was also very devoted to his father and fianc'ee. Dantes was capable of looking into the good side of the people that disliked him like Danglars "a man of twenty-five or twenty -six..of unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his inferiors (pg6)," Caderousse "a man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age (pg17)," and Fernand "tall, strapping, black eyed Catalan, with a red complexion, brown skin, and fierce air (pg21)."Even thought they were mean to Dantes he always treated them fairly and civilly Alexander Dumas shows us that when Morrel asks Dant`es to evaluate Danglars's work on the ship, Dant`es could easily ruin his enemy's career with a mean word but he chooses to put aside his personal feelings and honestly evaluates Danglars on a professional level. "If you mean as a responsible agent that you ask me the question, I believe there is nothing to say against him, and that you will be content with the way in which he has performed his duty (pg12)." Similarly, rather than reproach Caderousse for mistreating his father, Dant`es politely welcomes him into his home and offers to lend him money.
Dant`es even manages to control his will toward Fernand, his rival for Merc'ed`es feelings. Dant`es is loyal to those he loves and sees the best in those who are flawed. While Dant`es sits atop the pedestal of honesty and generosity, his three enemies could not be further from it. Unaware of Dant`es's kindness and tolerance, they have convinced themselves that he is very mean. When Dant`es takes pride in his good luck, the other men feel injury to their own egos. There are only two enemies of Dantes, Caderousse and Danglars, actually dislike Dant`es at this point; Fernand's hatred of Dant`es, by contrast, does not stem from any will of Dant`es's character. Fernand simply dislikes Dant`es because he is the main obstacle to his own happiness with Mercedes
Alexander Dumas sets these three grudging men up as foils-characters whose attitudes or emotions contrast with and thereby accentuate those of another character-to the noble-hearted Dant`es. Though the three men all participate in Dant`es's downfall, they are each guilty of a different crime that corresponds to their different attributes and relationships to Dant`es. Duma also clearly portrays Danglars as the most villainous of Dant`es's three enemies, because he is the only one who acts on a plan. Perhaps the most important, since Danglars is the only one who suspects the contents of the letter that Dant`es is carrying, he is the only one who understands the ramifications of the accusations planned against Dant`es. "Well , then, I should say, for instance, resumed Danglars, that if after a voyage such as Dantes has just made, and in which he touched the Isle of Elba, some one were to denounce him to the kings procedure as a Bonapartist(pg 39)." Fernand's crime, on the other hand, is an impetuous crime of passion. Gripped with the overwhelming desire to have Merc'ed`es for himself, Fernand takes Danglars's bait and mails the letter and Caderousse is merely guilty of cowardice and weakness.
He is not an active participant in drafting or mailing the letter. Yet, though Caderousse knows Dant`es's motives regarding the letter are innocent, he says nothing in Dant`es's defense when he is arrested. Though Caderousse feels pity for Dant`es as well as guilt over his part in the crime, he is too fearful of implicating himself and chooses to remain quiet and let an innocent man go to prison. Danglars's clear, calculating ambition, Fernand's impetuous criminality, and Caderousse cowardice and spinelessness make Dantes joy dissolve.6-23-05Chapters 6-12In this part of the book we see that France is divided by a deep political schism between revolutionary Bonapartist, who hoped to bring Napoleon and his liberal democratic ideas back to the French throne, and conservative royalists, who were committed to the old French royal family and their traditional rule. This is important role in the chapters of The Count of Monte Cristo. Characters associated with the Bonapartist cause, such as Morrel, Dant`es, the dead captain, and Noirtier, are portrayed in a sympathetic light, while the aristocratic royalists, such as Villefort and the Marquise de Saint-M'eran, and are cast in the roles of villains.
This stark division between good Bonapartist and bad royalists is not surprising, since Dumas was a great admirer of Napoleon and had strong democratic leanings. His father had been a general in Napoleon's army, and Dumas grew up with a love of freedom and a respect for individual rights. Dant`es is undone not only by the jealousy of dishonorable men but also by the oppressive political system of the post-revolutionary era, a system that routinely sentenced suspected radicals to life in prison with little or no proof of guilt. Dant`es is a pawn in a game of political intrigue, and his rights as an individual are ignored as Villefort uses him to advance his personal political goals. Dumas shows us that Villefort dose not obey to the promises tat he made to Dantes of freeing him because that letter that Dantes was to take to Paris is for Villeforts father Noirtier who is a Bonapartist and that can ruin his personal goals. "Had a thunderbolt fallen into the room, Villefort could not have been more stupefied. He sank into his seat, and hastily turning over the packet, drew forth the fatal letter, at which he glanced with an expression of terror..Noirtier is the father of Villefort, I am lost! (pg 83)." Noirtier the father of Villefort plats the character of modern political regimes when he tells his son that "in politics .
. . there are no men, but ideas-no feelings, but interests; in politics we do not kill a man, we only remove an obstacle."() But sending Dantes to prison only made Villefort fill with vague apprehensions for he had destroyed an innocent man happiness. "Villefort, in his turn, burst into tears, and sank into a chair..The man he sacrificed to his ambition, that innocent victim he made pay the penalty of his father's faults, appeared to him pale and threatening, leading his affianced bride by the hand, and bringing with remorse (pg98)." The political system's prioritization of ideas over men and interests over feelings, along with its perception of man as an obstacle, is a natural outcome of its impersonal and dehumanizing nature. Like Napoleon himself, Dant`es eventually emerges as a champion for the rights of the individual, working against the oppressive tyranny of the political system. Dant`es simply loves and admires; he does not analyze or judge. Interestingly, when he emerges later as the Count of Monte Cristo, he is guided only by ideas.
He is specifically motivated by one idea-revenge; consequently, he becomes incapable of feeling normal human sentiments. For the same reason, it makes sense that when Dant`es later falls into error and sin, becoming a strange mixture of hero and antihero, it is his intellect that takes over as a dominating yet dangerous force. This dichotomy between emotion and intellect allows Dumas to show his belief in the supremacy of the Romantic individual over the rational human being.6-24-05Chapters 13-14By giving Chapter 12 the same subtitle as Chapter 2-"Father and Son"-Dumas invites us to compare the two father-son pairs portrayed in these chapters. In Chapter 2 the father and son are Louis and Edmond Dant`es, a pair bound by absolute love and devotion. In Chapter 12, however, the father-son pair of Noirtier and Villefort is bound by little more than mutual distrust.
When Dant`es hears of his newfound good fortune, his first thought is of how he might improve life for his father; he fantasizes about all the nice things his newfound affluence will enable him to provide for the old man. Villefort, in contrast, is prepared to sacrifice his father in order to increase his own fortune. Though Villefort warns his father that the authorities are searching for a man of his description, this act is motivated not by loyalty but by self-interest: Villefort knows that his own career will be ruined if his father is charged with murder. "But father, take care when our turn comes, our revenge will be sweeping (pg124)." Later, Villefort attempts to break all ties with Noirtier, even going so far as to renounce his family name. When his future in-laws ask him to state his allegiances, Villefort has no qualms about harshly denouncing his father.
"Blanca's, my friend, you have but limits comprehension. I told you Villefort was ambitious, and to attain his ambition Villefort would sacrifice everything, even his father (pg107)". Here, filial loyalty serves to underscore the vast difference in character between Dant`es and Villefort. Dant`es's devotion to his father reveals his kindness and basic goodness, while Villefort's neglect and betrayal of his father expose him as a heartless conniver, looking out only for himself.6-26-05Chapters 15-20The title of Chapter 15, "Number 34 and Number 27," indicates yet another crime of society against the individual. As prisoners, Dant`es and Faria are reduced to numbers and are no longer addressed by their names. "The disposal of Dant`es's name is the final affront to his rights as an individual; it amounts to a loss of his self.
As an individual, Dant`es is deemed worthless when Villefort sacrifices him for his own political ambitions; this denial of his worth is made official with the loss of even his own name. "At the bottom of his heart he had often compassionated the unhappy young man who suffered thus; and he laid the request of number 34 before the governor (pg 150)".Dumas shows us that being treated as a number made Dantes wish for death. "Dantes said, I wish to die (pg 152)" Abb'e Faria, "He was a man of small stature, with hair blanched rather by suffering and sorrow than years. A deepest, penetrating eye, almost buried beneath the thick gray eyebrow, and a long(still black) beard reaching down to his breast..The stranger might have numbered sixty or sixty-five years(pg165)", who is also known merely as a number, saves Dant`es's life by treating him as a human being and free in equal conversation. Dant`es rises out of his depression and finds new things to live for.
Faria is well-educated, well-read man who believes strongly in the power of human reason and closely studies human nature and human societies. Faria is a great fan of Napoleon and a firm believer in the firmness of national and personal freedom. Faria educates Dantes and gives him the potential to reach the highest goal that his individual nature permits. Dumas shows us how smart was Abb'e Faria. "Dantes was, in fact, busily occupied by the idea that a person as intelligent, ingenious, and clear-sighted as the Abb'e, might probably be enable to dive into dark recesses of his own misfortune (pg183)". When he enters the prison, he is a person without malice; it never occurs to him that people could act as cruelly and selfishly as his enemies have.
When Faria reveals the true cause of Dant`es's imprisonment, Dant`es's blinding trustfulness is destroyed. Faria immediately apologizes to Dant`es for telling him the truth about his history, knowing that he has transformed him. . "Because it has instilled a new passion in your heart- that of vengeance..a bitter smile played over the features of the young man (pg 194)". Dant`es initially does not understand why Faria is apologizing to him, for he is happy to finally have the truth revealed.
Dumas shows us that Abb'e has a great treasure that he is going to give half to Dantes. "Now my dear fellow, you know as much as I do myself. If we ever escape together, half this treasure is yours; if I die here, and you escape alone, the whole belongs to you (pg 218)". With the information of an enormous treasure that may soon be his own, Dant`es, much to his horror, finds himself thinking only of the amount of harm he could wreak with such a fortune instead of the pleasure it could bring him. "Edmond thought he was in a dream-he wavered between incredulity and joy (pg 219)". Now aware of the evil deeds committed against him, he has become full with the desire for vengeance and has lost his capacity to enjoy life with the innocence of his past.
Dumas compares Dant`es's imprisonment to death, which makes Dant`es's later actions and situation as a rebirth or resurrection. In Chapter 14, the narrator tells us that Dant`es "looked upon himself as dead (pg 139)" while in Chapter 17, Dant`es himself refers to prison as "a living grave (pg179)" This morbid language signifies a symbolic death: the happy, innocent Dant`es of the early chapters dies and is replaced by the vengeful, bitter man of the remainder of the novel. This death is not just one of innocence, but maybe also one of humanity. The Dant`es who comes out from prison is not simply vengeful: he is nearly superhuman in his mental and physical abilities, while subhuman in his emotional capacity. He is something both greater and less than a human being.6-30-05Chapters 21-23Just as Dant`es's sentence is represent as a sort of death, his escape is release as a sort of rebirth. Dant`es comes out into the free world by way of water, clearly a symbolic reference to the Christian tradition of baptism, in which a newborn baby is doused with water in order to dedicate its soul to God.
"He swam on..and hour passed, during which Dantes excited by the feeling of freedom, continued to cleave the waves (pg 240)". Dant`es is reborn as a man with a single mission-to avenge the wrongs done to him. His baptismal oath, then, can be seen as a promise to carry out this vengeance, which he believes is God's will. "He renewed against Danglars, Fernand, and Villefort the oath of implacable vengeance he had made in his dungen. The oath was no longer a vain menace (pg 249)".
Signs of Dant`es's transformation appear immediately, as we see when he boards the smugglers' ship bearing falsehoods about his identity. The Dant`es of the early chapters is a suddenly honest man, yet he now lies easily and skillfully about his identity. "Edmond thus had the advantage of knowing what the owner was, without the owner knowing who he was (pg 251)". He puts up his first lie without a second thought, and he follows with a flood of other untruths. Dumas shows the smugglers as good, even admirable men. The smugglers' actions have little to do with justice in a fair sense.
Dumas's message is clear: societal justice is really no justice at all, as it punishes moral and good people for petty crimes that have nothing to do with real justice, while rewarding the vile and unethical with wealth and power. 7-1-05Chapters 24-25 In Chapter 24, Dumas begins to explore an important difference between lives filled with hope and lives filled with hopelessness. Preparing himself for the disappointment of not finding the treasure, Dant`es reflects that "[t]he heart breaks when, after having been elated by flattering hopes, it sees all these illusions destroyed(pg 272)" He thus acknowledges that hope is what keeps a human being going and that hopelessness is the only thing that destroys the human spirit. Dant`es begins to understand that happiness and despair stem from expectations, not from what one actually has or does not have. With all his desires now join on pass his revenge, Dant`es realizes that he faces the possibility of falling into despair once again if he finds no treasure and as a result cannot hope to carry out his revenge.
"Now that I expect nothing, now that I longer entertain the slightest hopes, the end of this adventure becomes a simple matter of curiosity (pg 272)." He attempts to not bright his hopes in order to save himself the crippling pain that would result if he finds these hopes let down. When Dant`es locates the treasure, he considers the event both "joyous and terrible," because he knows that with this wealth, he must now begin the obsessive, dark endeavor that will consume him for the next decade. "He then set himself to work to count his fortune..It was a night, at once joyous and terrible, such as this man of stupendous emotions had already experienced two or three times in his life(pg 277)." Dantes must sever ties to normal human life and give over himself to destroying his enemies. This scary task is made possible by his fortune alone, and so the fortune itself frightens him. Only when Dant`es prays is he able to feel the day is at all "joyous." His prayer calms the feelings of horror and disgust that the sight of his treasure mix's up and promises him that God supports his mission of revenge.
Dant`es prove to himself that only God could have plan the winning discovery of such an enormous treasure, and that the treasure exists for the very purpose of carrying out a terrible punishment on Dant`es's enemies. Dant`es's belief that God is using him as an instrument to carry out divine will continues to keep up his determination throughout the novel. Given Dant`es's religious understanding of his mission, it is significant that the island where he finds his treasure is called "Monte Cristo," which in Italian means "the mountain of Christ." This religious conception of his mission and Dant`es's certainty about its legitimacy allow him to overlook the "terrible" aspect of his discovery and bask in its "joyous" aspect.7-4-05Chapters 26-30Dant`es's talks in these chapters makes it clear that he truly thinks himself an agent of Providence rather than a man merely carrying out a good cause. He feels qualified to tell Caderousse that "God may seem sometimes to forget for a while, whilst his justice reposes, but there always comes a moment when he remembers (pg297)." Here, Dant`es means that the signal that God "remembers," in this case, is that God has given him this vast fortune to use as a tool of reward and punishment. As Dant`es departs Marseilles, he reflects, "I have been Heaven's substitute to recompense the good-now the God of Vengeance yields to me his power to punish the wicked! (pg274)" In calling himself "Heaven's substitute," Dant`es is clearer in what he has to do. So he considers himself God's messenger on earth, it is that's why he chooses to disguise himself as a priest when visiting Caderousse.
Like in some traditions, the priest acts as a direct mediator between God and man-the same role that Dant`es sees himself as living in his quest for revenge. Dant`es's different disguises join with the role that he plays while assuming that identity. He tends to dress as the Abb'e Busoni when he is standing in judgment. He dresses like Abb'e Busoni to disguise himself when visiting Caderousse, as he must decide whether Caderousse should be rewarded as a friend or punished as an enemy. When engaging in acts of excessive generosity, as he does toward Morrel, Dant`es dresses as an Englishman whom we later learn he refers to as Lord Wilmore. Dant`es tends to use the name Sinbad the Sailor when acting in a mostly odd manner, but he primarily makes use of this name when in Italy. Later, Dant`es takes the name Monte Cristo when acting as an angel of vengeance.
Like the God of the Old Testament, who uses a different name to refer to each of his different aspects-his punishing side and his compassionate side, for example-Dant`es, a self-appointed emissary of God on earth, also fractures his personality into its various components: judging, rewarding, and punishing. Like God, he assigns each aspect a different identity.Of all the names Dant`es uses, Sinbad the Sailor bears its own original significance, as it is a familiar name. Sinbad the Sailor is a character in a famous Middle Eastern folktale about a merchant who goes on seven dangerous and fantastical journeys, ultimately ending up enormously wealthy. There are many similarities between Sinbad's seven dangerous voyages leading up to his ultimate wealth and Dant`es's own dangerous journey through prison before the discovery of his treasure. Dantes is also similar to Sinbad because in his story, it focuses on a poor porter who envies Sinbad's wealth and is unhappy with his own boring life.
By the end of Sinbad's story, which is filled with horrors and dangers, the porter is convinced his own life is not so bad after all. Each of Dant`es's three enemies betrays him out of greed and ambition, giving in to lust for what he does not have. Danglars betrays Dant`es to win the captaincy of the Pharaon, Fernand betrays Dant`es to gain Merc'ed`es for himself, and Villefort betrays Dant`es to increase his own power. By using the name Sinbad the Sailor, Dant`es tacitly accuse these three men for their shortsighted greed. Also the red silk purse has a symbol of the connection between good deed and reward.
Dumas shows us that he gets this purse by Caderousse who had it and exchanged it for the diamond. "Give me the red silk purse that M.Morrel left on old Dantes chimney-piece (pg 321)." First used by Morrel to help save Louis Dant`es, the purse is now used to save Morrel in turn, telling that his kindness and generosity toward Louis are being repaid. Dant`es's uses of the purse dirty the pure act of self-sacrifice. By using the purse, Dant`es reveals that on some level he wants Morrel to recognize him as the savior. "Morel took the purse, and started as he did so, for a vague remembrance reminded him that it once belonged to himself.
At one end was a bill for 287,500 francs receipted; at the other was a diamond as large as a hazels nut, with these words on a small slip of parchment: Julies Dowry (pg 359)."The purse is not just a simple symbol of the connection between reward and punishment but as a more difficult personification of Dant`es's different reasons in acting as a support. Dant`es has selfless gratitude for Morrel's kindness but also a selfish desire to be recognized as the author of Morrel's financial salvation.7-8-05Chapters 31-34In the ten years that occur between the events in Marseilles and the meeting between Franz and Dant`es, Dant`es's rebirth as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo is complete. Dant`es comes out from these ten mysterious years as an almost supernatural being: he comes across as an all knowing person and powerful, possessing all possible human knowledge and superhuman physical strength, and keeps a level of sneakiness that gives him a nearly magical aura. Even Dant`es's appearance is supernatural, sometimes compared to that of a corpse and other times to that of a vampire. His flesh too is described as oddly inhuman, "Although of paleness that was almost livid, this man had a remarkably handsome face (pg377)." causing Franz to shudder when he touches it.
The transformation that begins in prison has now been carried so far that the Monte Cristo we find in Chapter 31 though he calls himself Sinbad bears virtually no resemblance to the Dant`es we know in Chapter 30. Dantes lives surrounded by excellent food, beautiful women, drugs, and every imaginable physical luxury. But in the book it seams that he dose not enjoy the pleasures that surrounds him. Dantes seems to be occupied by thoughts of pain, death, and revenge. Dumas show us that the drugs that Dant`es has are the only way of escaping his all- surrounding obsession for short periods of time. "At these words he uncover the small cup which contained the substance so lauded, took a teaspoonful of magic sweet-meat, raised it to his lips, and swallowed it slowly, with his eye half shut and his head bent backwards(pg383)." Part of the reason Monte Cristo surrounds himself with luxury is simply to impress other people. All the people that meet him are dazzled by his ability to recommend himself into any situation and carry out his plan of vengeance.
Dumas points out this connection between drugs and human transcendence when he has Dant`es declare that drugs cause "the boundaries of possibility [to] disappear (383)." According to Dant`es, drugs allow one to move beyond human limits by providing a form of experience in which these limits do not exist. "A grateful world to the dealer in happiness (pg384)."7-10-05Chapters 35-39In chapter 35, they describe Monte Cristo as a vampire. "Is he a vampire or a resuscitated corpse? (pg 446)." Countess G describes Monte Cristo like a vampire, a man partly of this world and partly of another world, at the same time tempting and terrifying. Countess G calls Monte Cristo "no other than Lord Ruthven himself in a living form (pg 447)."According to the book The Count of Monte Cristo the name Lord Ruthven was know to people as a vampire or else they wouldn't have called Monte Cristo as "himself in a living form." When Monte Cristo, Franz, and Albert were talking they raised a number of interesting issues about the limits of human justice. Monte Cristo explains that his regret with human justice follow not only from the fact that the system sometimes allows the guilty to fall through the cracks, going unpunished for terrible crimes, but also from the fact that modern means of punishment are not enough. The worst punishment that the modern criminal justice system will force is death, yet death is nothing compared to the agony that many victims of crime suffer.
Dumas shows us an example that Monte Cristo put in the book about the agony that many victims of crime suffer. "If a man had by unheard of the excruciating tortures destroy your father, your mother, your mistress, in a word, one of those beings, who when they are torn from you leave a desolation a wound that never closes, in your breast, do you think the reparation that society gives you sufficient by causing the knife of the guillotine to pass between the base of the occiput and the trapezal muscles of the murderer because he who has caused us years of moral sufferings undergoes a few moments of physical pain?(pg 463)." Monte Cristo wonders whether it is enough that a criminal "who has caused us years of moral sufferings undergoes a few moments of physical pain (pg 463)." In this part of the book there is a deep psychological close into Monte Cristo's mind as a punisher. He cannot feel any happiness until his enemies suffer something as painful as that which they have inflicted upon him. Dumas shows in the book another example of how Monte Cristo would like to avenge himself. "I would fight for such a cause, but in return for a slow, profound, eternal torture, I would give back the same were it possible: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (pg 464)." We can guess from Monte Cristo's words that the revenge plan is no simple murder plot-like the plot come up with by Picaud, the real life model for Monte Cristo-but rather an try to destroy his enemies psychologically and emotionally.
Dumas showsAlbert as a playful child who honestly judges danger and adventure. When he first hears of the life of the famous Luigi Vampa, he wants to take off right away to fight the bandit chief. Albert is also anxious to have many romantic adventures while in Italy. Albert is very silly but it might have been because he is young. Albert's bravery in Vampa's lair show that he has the makings of a fine adult, "Vampa looked at Albert with a kind of admiration; he was not insensible to such a proof of courage (pg 507),"and gratitude toward Monte Cristo after saving him, "you are really most kind, and I hope you will consider me as eternally obliged to you, in the first place for the carriage, and in the next for this (pg 508)." Aside from Monte Cristo, Albert is one of the few characters in the novel to feel psychological development as the story continue.7-14-05Chapters 40-50Dumas gives Bertuccio a long speech which gives Bertuccio the chance to tell all that we need to know about his life and his connection to other major characters, namely Villefort and Caderousse.
The context of the speech is, admittedly, very forced: we know that Monte Cristo and Abb'e Busoni is the same person, so we are aware that Monte Cristo already knows all the information he is forcing Bertuccio to reveal. It is by means of the dialogue over breakfast in Chapters 40 and 41, for instance that we learn about Maximilian's bravery, "it was the 5th of September, the anniversary of the day on which my father was miraculously preserved; therefore, as far as it lies in my power, I endavour to celebrate it by some, Heroic action, interrupted Chateau-Renaud (pg 533)," and Monte Cristo's true connection to Luigi Vampa, "I had know the famous Vampa for more than ten years. When he was quite a child (pg 544)." Then there is the sudden appearance of Maximilian Morrel at Albert's house in Chapter 41 is a key in a plot twist. For ten years Monte Cristo has been preparing himself to feel and act upon nothing but hatred and vengeance. The appearance of Maximilian calls up a set of different emotions for which Monte Cristo is not prepared. "At the name the [of M.Maximilian Morrel]the count, who had hitherto saluted every one with courtesy, but at the same time with coldness and formality, steeped a pace forward, and a slight tinged of red colored his pale cheeks(pg 593)." He is suddenly filled with gratitude and warmth-two sentiments that he has prepared to leave behind.
Being there Maximilian's complicates Monte Cristo's attempts to divide his life neatly into years devoted to rewarding and years spent punishing. When Albert was giving Monte Cristo a tour of the house Monte Cristo suddenly got attracted by a portrait of a woman, "[with a] picturesque costume of the Catalan fisherwomen, a red and black bodice, and the golden pins in her hair. She was looking at the sea, and her shadow was defined on the blue ocean and sky. Albert did not perceive the paleness that spread itself over the counts visage, or nervous heaving of his chest and shoulder (pg 554)." Dumas shows that by the way that Monte Cristo acted and the way the women was dressed in a costume that of a Catalan fisherwoman symbolically connects Merc'ed`es to Dant`es, who was a sailor during the period when the two were engaged that it was Mercedes. The portrait of Merc'ed`es looking sadly out to sea hints that she has never forgotten, or stops to love, Dant`es.
Merc'ed`es has spent years under the mistaken impression that Dant`es died at sea when he was thrown from the rocks in Abb'e Faria's cover. In her sad gaze toward the sea, then, she is focused on what she believes to be Dant`es's grave. Dumas shows that Merc'ed`es's has a ability to recognize Dant`es even through the changes of time and need also show the depth of her feeling for him. She has stayed so carefully connected to him in her thoughts that she is right away able to see through his new exterior. "[Mercedes was]pale and motionless; when Monte Cristo turned round..I feel some emotion on seeing, for the first time, the man without whose intervention we should have been in tears of desolation(pg 560)." Merc'ed`es's ability to recognize Dant`es confirms what the portrait suggests: despite her marriage to Fernand, she has always remained loyal to Dant`es in her heart. Even Fernand is clearly aware that the portrait signifies Merc'ed`es's lasting feelings for Dant`es, since he has it throw out from his house. Not only did Mercedes recognize Monte Cristo but Monte Cristo also recognized her. "The counts bowed again, but lower than before; he was even paler than Merc'ed`es (pg 563)." At the end of chapter 42 we see that Merc'ed`es asks Albert a whole bunch of questions respecting The Cont of Monte Cristo which Dumas shows that Merc'ed`es is freighted by what Monte Cristo might do to her son because she has married Fernand.
"The countess bent her head as if beneath a heavy wave of bitter thoughts. I have always put you on your guard against new acquaintances. And my fears are weakness, especially when directed against a man who has saved your life (pg 566)." When Villefort is reintroduced in Chapter 49, he is shown as a firm and inflexible "statue of the law (pg 657)," challenging a form of justice that, according to Monte Cristo, is really no justice at all. Villefort is obsessed with laws and rules, and he lives for the trial of ...
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