Can red and black be 2 colors that describe Edmond Dantes?The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If the question means which colors describe the personality and emotions of Edmund Dantes, red and black can, indeed, be indicative of the character of the anti-hero of Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo.  For, according to studies, red evokes feelings of intensity. passion, and excitement; black, the most powerful and mysterious of colors,  often indicates something or someone who is powerful, ominous and sinister.  As the Count of Monte Cristo, the man who has suffered imprisonment for a decade and a half, Dantes is determined to seek revenge upon those who sent him to the Chateau d'If.  As Monsieur Morrel tells his son when he considers suicide, "Blood washes out dishonor!"  Monte Cristo believes this statement, as well, and seeks through his own devices to wash out dishonor in his enemies with their blood. Yet, his passionate love of those who have been good to him are demonstrated in his generosity to M. Morrel in his time of financial disaster.  Filling the old red purse that Morrel once left for his penurious father, Monte Cristo repays Morrel for the kindnesses he has committed. 

With his many disguises and machinations, Monte Cristo is extremely mysterious, as is the color he often wears--black.  As the "cloaked man of the Colosseum," for instance, Monte Cristo arranges for the kidnapping of Albert de Morcerf during the Carnival in Rome. Nevertheless, whenever he is in public, he wears a simple, but impeccable plain black coat devoid of any trimmings with a white unembroidered waistcoat.

There is a marked contrast, of course, between the Count of Monte Cristo and the youth, Edmund Dantes.  When Edmund Dantes first appears in the novel as the ingenuous young sailor, the color white and brown would probably better describe his personality.  Ingeuous and pure of heart, the first mate of M. Morrel's ship harbors no ill to anyone, nor does he suspect any.  And, the color brown complements his personality early in the novel as he is loving and loyal to his dear father, his employer, M. Morrel, and his darling Mercedes.

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The Count of Monte Cristo

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