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The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas père

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What are two dominating qualities of the Count of Monte Cristo?

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The question is unclear about whether it is asking about The Count of Monte Cristo as a book or the Count of Monte Cristo as the character. There is a bit of overlap because Edmond Dantes is such a central and dominating character that his personality and actions guide a few of the story's themes. For example, one dominating feature of both the story and Dantes is revenge. When it comes down to it, this story is a simple revenge story. It's a great revenge story with a lot of wonderful conniving, planning, and brilliant execution, but Dantes's main motivation is revenge. It keeps him alive in prison, and it is a guiding light to his actions even after he obtains so much wealth that he doesn't need to think twice about his past life. A second dominating quality that the story illustrates through Dantes is the importance of perseverance. Dantes is more than "determined"—that isn't an aggressive enough word for it. People tend to remain determined while things are going well. Determination can be easy. Perseverance, on the other hand, connotes that great difficulty and suffering are in the way. Dantes goes to a horrible prison for over a decade, and his revenge scheme isn't a quick one either; however, he perseveres through every difficulty placed in his way.

"What is truly desirable? A possession that we cannot have. So, my life is devoted to seeing things that I cannot understand and obtaining things that are impossible to have. I succeed by two means: money and will. I am as persevering in the pursuit of my whims. . . "

Dantes's ability to wait, persevere, and hope for the best is so central to his character that the novel ends with him and Valentine stressing the point.

"So, do live and be happy, children dear to my heart, and never forget that, until the day when God deigns to unveil the future to mankind, all human wisdom is contained in these two words: 'wait' and 'hope'!"

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