Valentine de Villefort and Eugenie Danglars are two beautiful girls who grow up in the same high society circle together because of the influences of their parents. Valentine's father is the Deputy Prosecutor (Procureur), and Eugenie's father is a highly respectable banker. At the introduction of the girls in the...
bookThe Count of Monte Cristo, both are betrothed to high society young men. It is not too long, however, before these betrothals are cancelled. Franz d'Epinay breaks off the engagement with Valentine on finding an unfavorable connection between his father's murder and Valentine's grandfather, M. Noitier. M. Danglars breaks his daughter Eugenie's betrothal to Albert de Morcerf in exchange for a seemingly more favorable connection with Count Andrea Cavalcanti. Here the similarities between Valentine and Eugenie appear to end, except for one important fact: both are the unfortunate offspring of two men who were direct causes of the false accusation of treason against Edmond Dantes, now called the Count of Monte Cristo, and his many years imprisoned at the Chateau d'If.
Despite being similar in circumstance, the two girls have very different personalities. Valentine is affectionate, gentle, lively, and loves the soldier Maximilien Morrel. She is completely obedient to and trusting of her grandfather, and she respects and loves her father.
Eugenie is often viewed as cold and impersonal in her interactions with society and with her family. She loves her music and spends a great deal of time with her friend Louise d'Armilly. Unlike Valentine, Eugenie is not in love with a man. She desires to make her own living away from home by selling her art or playing music. When her second betrothal falls through, she makes the determination to run away and does so successfully. Her relationship to her father is virtually nonexistent.
The Count of Monte Cristo influences the futures of Valentine and Eugenie. Because of his actions, the futures of M. de Villefort and M. Danglars are ruined. The Count has mercy on Valentine herself, for Morrel's sake, as he regards Morrel as a son. Eugenie, however, seeks her own place in the world, and it is assumed that she is better off for it.