The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo Theme of Hatred
As a wise man once said, "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." OK, that was Yoda, and Yoda's not technically a man, but you get the point. Hatred is powerful stuff, and powerful stuff is hard to control. It may lead the hater into some uncomfortable positions, and, more often than not, it has unintended consequences. Many of the characters in The Count of Monte Cristo, the Count included, wonder if their misfortunes spring from some kind of divine hatred, but more often than not, it's a human doing the hating.
Questions About Hatred
- "Oh, don't misunderstand me," the Count tells Albert de Morcerf. "I like everybody in the way that God ordered us to love our neighbours, that is, in Christian charity. I only bestow true hatred on certain people" (68.63). Is this really a defensible position?
- As far as Dumas is concerned, is there any justification for hate? If so, what is it?
- While hatred may ultimately motivate the Fernands and Danglarses of the world to commit heinous acts, does there seem to be a common motive behind the contempt displayed in The Count of Monte Cristo?
Chew on This
Though Monte Cristo claims to be acting in the interests of God, his actions stem from human hatred just as much of those perpetrated by Danglars and Fernand.
In The Count of Monte Cristo, we learn that hatred cannot lead to good, no matter what has inspired it.