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.
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.