The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo Theme of Perseverance
Conventional wisdom says good things come to those who wait. At book's end, the Count of Monte Cristo seems to agree; in fact, he couldn't make his thoughts any clearer: Wait and hope, he tells Valentine and Maximilian, wait and hope. Monte Cristo should know, of course – he spends 24 years figuring out what he wants and then working to get it. The word itself couldn't be more fitting. Edmond's life is so full of hardship; his prospects are so low, that only 100% pure, unadulterated perseverance will do. Determination is much too soft a word. In the case of The Count of Monte Cristo, though, perseverance isn't just about the patience of any single man, but the persistence of an ideal, of conviction, of justice.
Questions About Perseverance
- Edmond spends ten years planning his revenge, whereas Danglars, Fernand, and Villefort spent a considerably shorter time putting Edmond away. Can we assume that Edmond is fueled by hatred for the men who imprisoned him? If we do, can we really respect him? Is it better to casually ruin someone's life or to plan their fall meticulously?
- At one point, the Count likens himself and his project to God creating the world. Is this mere arrogance? Or is there something to the comparison?
Chew on This
Edmond's ability to see his plan through might be called a triumph of the human spirit, but it's a triumph for humanity's dark side.
At its core, Edmond's endeavor is just another case of obsession on a massive scale.