Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, is set in 19th century Europe and depicts the path of revenge Edmond Dantes takes after being framed by his enemies and left to rot in jail for 14 years. The exciting dialogues, extravagant language, and exhilarating plot make this an interesting book to read.
Though at first glance this might seem like a simple drama about revenge, I believe Dumas intended for his novel to convey more than what meets the eye. Dumas used this book to unveil the darker side of human nature and the destruction greed brings. He spoke through our protagonist, Dantes, regarding how he finds the justice system insufficient. Dumas also presented his ideals for a perfect gentleman and what he considers to be admirable characteristics through the noble protagonists he built.
Dumas' Vigilante Justice
The Count of Monte Cristo was truly an amazing literature performance, and one of the first novels to introduce vigilante justice. Dumas’ disdain for the judicial system of that time can be clearly observed through the words of Dantes himself. Feeling it incapable of producing a sufficient method of punishment, Dantes took matters into his own hands and became a vigilante of his time. Well-learnt, highly skilled in combat, rich, and a heart filled with not only noble thoughts but also vengeance, Dantes was the epitome of a superhero.
Some Thoughts on The Book
What I found intriguing about this novel is how it portrays the brittleness of the human nature. The elegance and graceful nature fades away, revealing the darkness of human nature as soon as personal interests are involved. Greed driven, the antagonists pursuit their evil intentions without any fear of their sins finding them out; they recognize what they are doing as a heinous crime, yet carries on with their deed. The acknowledgment that God is issuing the punishment they deserve is a common reaction when they are being punished for their crimes, which I find rather amusing, since their actions seemingly denies the existence of a God. This novel truly brings some of the worst human nature into sight, and even though it does shine light on some noble characteristics, I find this exposure very depressing.
Some Thoughts on Edmond Dantes
Edmond Dantes is a character I have a few unconventional impressions on. A very unpopular opinion I have of him is that he is actually very egotistic. Why is this so? Until his last victim, Dantes seemed most certain that he is send by God himself to punish the wicked and is extremely self-righteous when ever defending his actions. It can be observed through his speech and actions that he is very proud of this vigilante justice, and does not even consider in the possibility of him making a mistake. How did the meek nineteen year-old Edmond Dantes turn into this egotistic Count of Monte Cristo? The answer is simple, even he cannot escape the bad influences money and power yields. The power he had over his enemies made him feel more and more in control, invulnerable, and began slowly filling his mind with delusions regarding the extent of his powers, his right to pass judgments, and his place as man, not God.
The Count of Monte Cristo is a book that deserves to be read carefully in order to appreciate the eloquence of the language and the carefully constructed plot, but moreover as a warning to one self. If you are ever able to read this book, examine yourself and think if you are slowly degenerating into the characters described.
On a side note, I would just like to say that this article is only about some personal thoughts I had when reading this novel. If they seem incorrect or immature to you in some way, please let me know your thoughts through the comments.