The Count of Monte Cristo | Study Guide

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo | Chapters 105–107 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 105

Monte Cristo joins Valentine's funeral procession as it winds its way toward the cemetery. He anxiously searches the crowd and finally spots Maximilien standing alone on a mound near the mausoleum. Fearing that Maximilien may be suicidal, the count keeps a close watch on him. He follows him home and confronts him there. Maximilien vents his anger at the count for having assured him Valentine would live, and he admits he wants to die. Monte Cristo invokes the memory of Maximilien's father as he tries to get him to give up the idea of suicide. When Maximilien asks what Monte Cristo knows of his father, he reveals that he is Edmond Dantès, the man who saved his father from committing suicide, who sent the red purse to his sister, and who sent the Pharaon to his father. Maximilien excitedly calls for Julie and Emmanuel and announces that he's found their benefactor, but the count stops him before he can say the name "Edmond Dantès." A little later he speaks privately with Maximilien, who assures him that he won't try to harm himself. The count tells him to hope, because one day he'll be happy. He wants Maximilien to leave France with him in a week and says he will cure him of his grief in a month. If he's not happy by then, Monte Cristo will help him end his life. Until they leave Paris, Maximilien is to come and live with the count. Haydée has already left to wait for the count elsewhere, and Maximilien will take her rooms.

Chapter 106

In a rented apartment where they have met regularly for some time, Madame Danglars shows Lucien Debray the letter that Danglars left for her the night he fled Paris. She says he'll never come back and now she's free. Debray asks her what she plans to do, and he pretends not to understand what she wants him to say. He advises her to present herself as abandoned and poor to gain sympathy. He assures her he'll keep her true wealth a secret. He then gives her a detailed accounting of their joint investments and explains how he has arranged for her to access her wealth. Concealing her disappointed hopes, Madame Danglars sweeps out the door without even saying a goodbye.

In the apartment upstairs, Mercédès and Albert have been adjusting to their new life of poverty. They're running out of money and decide to go to Marseille to retrieve the money that Edmond Dantès buried in his father's yard. Albert will enlist in the army, and the money will be enough for Mercédès to live on. As they leave the apartment, they encounter Debray, who has just left his apartment. Albert introduces Debray to his mother and offers his sympathy for their troubles. Debray is struck by the contrast between Madame Danglars, who seems pathetic and poor despite owning a fortune of 15 million francs, and Mercédès, who is noble and rich even though she has only a few pence. The next day when Albert puts Mercédès in the coach that will take her to Marseille, Monte Cristo watches from the shadows and wonders how he can bring happiness back to their lives.

Chapter 107

In a section of La Force prison called The Lion's Pit, Andrea Cavalcanti lives in hope that Monte Cristo will visit and somehow rescue him. When Bertuccio comes to visit him, Benedetto suggests that perhaps Monte Cristo is his real father. Bertuccio says he's come back the next day to tell Benedetto who his father is.

Analysis

Monte Cristo still hasn't told Maximilien that Valentine is alive, even though the young man is nearly suicidal with grief. His prediction that Maximilien will be happy in a month suggests that the poor lover will be left in suspense for that length of time. The count's refusal to reveal the truth is puzzling to readers; why won't he end the young man's misery? It also extends the comparison to Romeo and Juliet, which reinforces readers' concern that the staged death may not end well. Once again, the narrator does not reveal Monte Cristo's plans in detail. From the count's expressed intention to leave Paris in a week and desire that Maximilien come with him, readers can conclude that Valentine is probably not in Paris anymore.

In Chapter 106, Madame Danglars, in contrast to her husband, ends up wealthy, but money is all she has. Both her husband and her love have left her, and Parisian society will always associate her with the Benedetto scandal. Mercédès and Albert, on the other hand, have no money but they have dignity and the hope that comes with making a new start. They also have their honor intact, which Madame Danglars cannot claim.

In Chapter 107, Bertuccio's visit to Benedetto in prison bolsters the latter's conviction that Monte Cristo will somehow have him freed. However, prior to the arrest, Monte Cristo had been taking great pains to remind everyone that he barely knows Andrea Cavalcanti. His distancing himself from the young man does not bode well for Benedetto's hopes.

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