The Count of Monte Cristo
Fate vs. Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"No, it is not life that I regret, but the ruin of my plans, which were so long in devising and so laborious to construct. Providence, which I thought favoured them, was apparently against them. God did not want them to come to fruition!
"This burden which I took on, almost as heavy as a world, and which I thought I could carry to the end, was measured according to my desire and not my strength. I shall have to put it down when my task is barely half completed. Ah, I shall have to become a fatalist, after fourteen years of despair and ten years of hope had made me a believe me a believer in Providence!" (90.2-3)
In order to believe he is an agent of Providence, the Count must believe he knows what is meant to be. To see that certainty crumble is, potentially, just as damaging as that fateful bolt from the blue, the stroke.
[Eugénie Danglars:] "Well, my dear father, in the shipwreck of life—for life is an eternal shipwreck of our hopes—I throw all my useless baggage into the sea, that's all, and remain with my will, prepared to live entirely alone and consequently entirely free." (95.21)
Eugénie suggests that life is some combination of chance (the shipwreck) and choice (the decision to throw away the baggage.)
"Monsieur," Villefort replied, trying to struggle against these three wills and against his own feelings, "you are wrong. No crimes are committed in my house. Fate has struck. God is trying me, which is horrible to believe; but no one is being murdered!" (103.36)
In this case, the deed has already been done; Fate is nothing more than a label meant to console the victim.