© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas

Fate vs. Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Come now, "he [Danglars] said. Have you anything to fear? It seems to me, on the contrary, that everything is working out as you would wish."

"That is precisely what terrifies me," said Dantès. "I cannot think that man is meant to find happiness so easily! Happiness is like one of those palaces on an enchanted island, its gates guarded by dragons. One must fight to gain it; and, in truth, I do not know what I have done to deserve the good fortune of becoming Mercédès' husband." (5.22-23)

Oddly enough, it's at the most extreme moments – whether they be extremely happy or extremely grim – that we wonder if Fate might be lurking, exerting a negative influence.

Quote #2

"Ah, but who can ever know what may happen, my dear fellow? Man proposes, God disposes…"

Andrea sighed and said: "But as long as I remain in Paris and nothing forces me to leave, this money that you just mentioned is guaranteed?

"Oh, yes, absolutely."(61.46-48)

A variation on the old saying, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch." Except this one captures the way the stars can seem to align against even the most insignificant plans.

Quote #3

"No, but I was brought up in Corsica. You are old and obstinate, I am young and stubborn. It's a bad idea for people like us to threaten one another. We should do business amicably. Is it my fault if luck is still hard on you and has been kind to me?"

"So luck's good, is it? Which means it's not some borrowed groom or borrowed tilbury or borrowed clothes that we have here? Fine! So much the better!" Caderousse said, his eyes gleaming with greed." (64.54-55)

Caderousse teaches Andrea/Benedetto a lesson in language. One man's luck might seem, to a more perceptive man, something stranger or more complex.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement