Study Guide

The Count of Monte Cristo Chapter 8

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Chapter 8

The Chateau d'If

  • Edmond is quickly moved from Villefort's chambers into a small, clean jail cell.
  • After waiting around for a few hours, Edmond is paid a visit by a couple of soldiers. He's taken to a waiting carriage with barred windows. After a short ride, he's let out at a military encampment, led down to the beach, and put into a small boat, along with four soldiers.
  • He asks the soldiers to tell him where he's being taken, but they won't tell him. Still convinced that Villefort is on his side, he makes no attempt to resist…until the soldiers unfurl the sail, and the boat heads out toward the open sea.
  • At this point, he demands, again, to know where he's headed. The soldier tells him it should be obvious to him at this point…and it is. Up ahead, the Chateau d'If, the huge island fortress/prison – think Alcatraz – looms in the distance.
  • Now Edmond tries to make an escape, but the soldiers stop him from jumping overboard. He stops resisting, and, soon enough, they arrive at their destination. The soldiers bring him inside, to another temporary cell – this one much darker and dirtier than the one he'd been in before. His jailer leaves him some bread and water, then closes the door behind him.
  • Edmond is left alone in the darkness. The dawn comes, and the jailer has still not received orders, not that it makes a difference to Edmond – he's spent the night in a sleepless stupor.
  • Edmond demands to see the jail's governor, but when his request is denied he bursts into tears. If only I had tried to escape, he thinks, he could have lived a happy life. Instead, now, he would go mad in prison.
  • When the jailer returns the next day, Edmond is still agitated; he only wants to see the governor, nothing more – not even food or water. The jailer warns Edmond that this kind of obsession will drive him mad – he tells him of another prisoner, an abbé who was driven mad in that way – but Edmond doesn't listen.
  • Edmond threatens to kill the jailer, swinging his stool around menacingly. The jailer immediately goes and gets a bunch of soldiers and tells them to take Edmond down to the dungeons.
  • Edmond does not resist as they take him down; he is, indeed, very close to madness.

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