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In Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, give an example of when Edmond Dantès does NOT...

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swearingen | eNoter

Posted August 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM via web

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In Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, give an example of when Edmond Dantès does NOT adhere to his philosophy that "the sins of the fathers shall fall upon their children."

One example is when Monte Cristo does not participate in the duel with Albert. What is a second?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 26, 2012 at 1:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Edmond Dantès believes that the sins of the father shall be visited upon the son, but he does not follow this to the letter. As you have suggested, the Count of Monte Cristo (Dantès) chooses not to face Albert in a duel, even though his father Fernand was one of the men who betrayed him and sent him to Chateu d'If for many long years.

However, in Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, Dantès intercedes to save Albert yet another time, when the notorious Luigi Vampa kidnaps Albert. In trying to assemble the ransom Vampa has demanded, Franz goes to the count, who first speaks with Peppino (whose life he saved) who has come to collect the money, and then to Vampa. The count and Franz (Albert's friend) go to the "bandit camp" to speak directly to Vampa. Vampa is surprised to see Monte Cristo:

Your pardon, your excellency, but I was so far from expecting the honor of a visit, that I did not really recognize you.

Monte Cristo points out to Vampa that his memory is short with regard to other things as well. Fearing to have displeased the count, Vampa anxiously enquires as to what Monte Cristo means. The count explains:

"Was it not agreed," asked the count, "that not only my person, but also that of my friends, should be respected by you?"

Vampa asks how he might have disrespected one of the counts friends.

"You have this evening carried off and conveyed hither the Vicomte Albert de Morcerf."

In a voice that frightens even Franz, Monte Cristo identifies Albert Morcerf—the bandit's prisoner—as his friend: one who lodges where the count stays and is using the count's "private" carriage. Vampa has taken it upon himself not only to kidnap the count's friend, but also to hold him for ransom—hardly treating him like a favored acquaintance of the Count of Monte Cristo!

Vampa turns to his men angrily, demanding why someone had not told him who it was they were kidnapping. He declares that if he thought any of them had taken Albert knowing he was a friend of the count, Vampa would kill that man himself. Introduced to Franz, Vampa apologizes profusely and they go to release Albert—who is actually unhappy to have been awakened because of the wonderful dream he had been having.

The Count of Monte Cristo has unfinished business with Fernand Mondego—the Count of Morcerf—Albert's father. At one point in the story, as Fernand (who does not recognize Edmond) and the count meet, Dantès cringes as they shake hands—his sense of betrayal at Fernand's hands has not diminished at all. One would expect, then, that Edmond Dantès would have no interest in Albert's well-being when he is kidnapped. However, the count seems to like Albert. And without hesitation, he goes to see Vampa to make sure that Albert is all right and is released immediately. This breaks Dantès' rule about letting the sins of the father fall on the head of his children; it also provides a sense that Dantès is not completely devoid of sympathy for those who have also been victimized without knowing it—Albert does not yet realize that his father is immoral and without honor. This is a time when honor is often as important as life. Recall Monsieur Morrel who believing he cannot repay his debts, is ready to take his own life. Morcerf's disgrace will be devastating to Albert when he realizes what a terrible man his father is.

But the count has again protected Albert even though it goes against his "code" of conduct.

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