The Count of Monte Cristo
Fate vs. Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"Oh, what is man!" d'Avrigny muttered. "The most egoistical of all animals, the most personal of all creatures, who cannot believe otherwise than that the earth revolves, the sun shines and death reaps for him alone—an ant, cursing God from the summit of a blade of grass." (80.19)
D'Avrigny raises a good question: isn't it rather egotistical for man to assume that God has the time to cause their petty misfortunes?
"God could have guided the murderer's dagger so that you would die immediately, yet He gave you a quarter of an hour to reconsider. So look in your heart, you wretch, and repent!"
"No," said Caderousse. "No, I do not repent. There is no God, there is no Providence. There is only chance." (83.66-67)
Caderousse rejects the idea of God and the idea of Fate (or Providence) with it; he's one of the few to do so. Still, he changes his mind just before he dies. So much for asserting man's free will.
"Albert! Forgive me for saying it: shattered with regard to you, but enchanted by the nobility of that young woman seeking to avenge her father. Yes, Albert: wherever this revelation came from—and I grant that it may be from an enemy—I swear that that enemy was an agent of Providence." (87.1)
It's important to recognize that Fate isn't always thought to exert itself directly, as with a stroke. Sometimes Fate enlists someone to complete its work.