Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A Q on a Novel by Alexander Dumas

Was the Count of Monte Cristo a real free spirit? He can stand his ground and would go very far for it. Would the count be an ideal role model?

Answer requested by
Alexander Indianer

Hans-Georg Lundahl
none/ apprx Masters Latin & Greek, Lund University
Answered just now
I have actually read a complete version of it in Swedish translation.

As other men have pointed to Edmond Dantès prior to meeting Abbé Faria in prison, I think this is not a real issue, since we would be talking of the person after he assumed the guise of Count of Monte Cristo. To bring in his past prior to the imprisonment is like asking if Bruce Wayne was a good crime hunter prior to his parents being murdered.

Before we go on, I will however mention that the denial of human rights given to Edmond Dantès during the Restauration of Bourbon Monarchy is, according to an issue of Ça m’intéresse based on a real case, but who got out of unjust imprisonment precisely then, while the culprits had been free to act this vilely with such power abuse during the time when Napoleon I Bonaparte was in power. Alexandre Dumas the Elder being highly pro-Napoleon, this was changed so that the Restoration régime should seem less good than it really was in the case.

Now to the diverse questions:

Was the Count of Monte Cristo a real free spirit?

He was after Abbé Faria became his mentor, partly free spirit, but even more the kind of intriguer whom certain people call out as “Illuminati”. Insofar as these are based on false speculation (which I would not guarantee), characters like Abbé Faria and Count of Monte Cristo have highly contributed to fuel these. Recall (assuming you read the full version) the lessons about controlling coincidences?

He can stand his ground and would go very far for it.

Destroying one’s enemies and at last killing both one’s love and her son for revenge is not my definition of standing one’s ground. It’s more like my definition of making a devil’s bargain and having to regret it without being able to repair the damage.

Would the count be an ideal role model?

No way José!

It is possible that he was even invented in order to show himself off as a warning example to the reader. Or that Dumas brought such things in, in order to please the censorship and the as yet fairly Christian taste : the publication in serialised form started in 1844, under Louis Philippe. It’s not as if it had been published in US or Third Republic.

I am glad he ended up dissatisfied with his schemes, since that may have preserved me from taking such a man as rolemodel.

Plus, I don’t think an adult who takes a mentor to arrive out of trouble is a very good rolemodel either.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
Pierre Picaud — Wikipédia

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