The Count of Monte Cristo | Study Guide

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo | Chapters 49–50 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 49

The count visits Haydée in her private suite. He reminds her that she is not really a slave and is free to leave or do as she likes. She is only 19, and he urges her to go out and meet people. He asks her to promise, though, to never speak to anyone about her past or tell the names of her parents. Haydée tells the count that she loves him, not as a father, but as something more, and she doesn't ever want to leave him. The count assures Haydée that he will never leave her.

Chapter 50

The count visits Maximilien Morrel, who lives with his sister, Julie, and her husband, Emmanuel Herbault. Monsieur Morrel had died after rebuilding his shipping business and making it profitable again. Julie and Emmanuel ran the business for six years after he died. When they had saved enough, they closed the business and retired to enjoy life. The count is gratified to see how happy they are in their comfortable, cheerful home. On display in the home under a crystal globe is a red silk purse, holding a piece of paper and a fine diamond. They keep these objects, Julie says, as "relics of the angel" who saved their father's life when he was on the brink of bankruptcy. They were never able to find and thank the mysterious Englishman who left the purse. Maximilien says that their father insisted it wasn't an Englishman but a dear friend who had come back from the dead—Edmond Dantès. At this, the count, overcome with emotion, makes an excuse and quickly says his goodbyes, saying that it's the first time in years that he has been able to forget his troubles.

Analysis

The count has been focused on his pursuit of revenge for some time. Visiting Haydée and the Morrels provides some relief from the intensity of his revenge plan and allows him to get in touch with some warmer emotions. As Haydée's protector, he considers her family, and because of her youth, he tends to think of her as a daughter, but there are hints that she thinks of him as something more than a father figure. The Morrels are also like family to the count. They're practical, unpretentious, and down-to-earth, a welcome relief from the aristocrats he's been cultivating for his vengeance plans. The motif of Monte Cristo as an angel of vengeance—an instrument of God—is reflected in the "relics of the angel" that the Morrels keep in remembrance of the man who saved their father's life. The fact that the Morrels hold these items in such reverence can only feed the count's ideas about himself as being superhuman and the agent of Providence.

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