The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père

The Count of Monte Cristo book cover
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What are some possible symbols in The Count of Monte Cristo and what do they stand for?

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This story uses two symbols that are common in literature.  One is water or the sea.  In literature, water is often symbolic of a cleansing or rebirth.  By entering the sea after prison, Dantes is reborn with a symbolic baptism.  He is ready to start his life anew.

Another common literary symbol is the elixir.  An elixir is a miracle potion that can give a person some Godlike quality, such as eternal youth or in this case the ability to raise the dead or prevent death.  Since only God can use these powers, the owner of the elixir often suffers and Dantes is no exception.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

This story uses two symbols that are common in literature.  One is water or the sea.  In literature, water is often symbolic of a cleansing or rebirth.  By entering the sea after prison, Dantes is reborn with a symbolic baptism.  He is ready to start his life anew.

Another common literary symbol is the elixir.  An elixir is a miracle potion that can give a person some Godlike quality, such as eternal youth or in this case the ability to raise the dead or prevent death.  Since only God can use these powers, the owner of the elixir often suffers and Dantes is no exception.

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