Nearly all major char. in the novel adopt different names, and/or acquire noble titles. What statement is Dumas making about nobility and titles?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a underlying suggestion of corruption in the society of Alexandre Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo."  Incarcerated for purely political reasons, Edmund Dantes learns of more political corruption as he is in prison with the Abbe Faria, sentenced as a anti-Bonapartist while Dantes is labeled a Bonapartist.  The Abbe's tale of the fortune includes details of the Borgia family and the Cardinal hats, high positions in the Catholic Church that are for sale.  Corruption was so exacerbated that the Borgias resorted to poisoning victims.

When Danglars accrues enough money, he buys a title so that he may marry an aristocrat.  Likewise, Ferdinand de Morcerf buys his respectability as a Count.  While the citizens of Paris believe his title to be legitimate, it is as false a position as Dantes's title of Count of Monte Cristo.  That titles are a sham is proven by Monte Cristo himself who enters polite society simply because he has a fortune and later introduces a young man who is a thief and the illegitimate son of Monsieur de Villefort as the Italian Count de Calvacanti.  With his good looks and title, the young ladies of Parisian society are very interested in this man.  Even M. de Villefort considers betrothing his daughter to this wealthy man of title- the only two things that seem to matter.

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The Count of Monte Cristo

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