illustration of a seaside fortress with waves crashing against the rocky shore

The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas père

Start Free Trial

Who are the character foils for Valentine and Eugiene in The Count of Monte Cristo?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Both Eugénie and Valentine yearn for the freedom to choose how they live their own lives, yet each woman attempts to achieve this goal in a different way. The obedient Valentine shuns the notion of opposing her father’s will, and it takes a great amount of persuasion on Maximilian’s part to convince her to run away with him. In fact, the only reason Valentine ultimately manages to marry Maxililian is due to interference on their behalves by others rather than her own actions. Eugénie, contrarily, is perfectly willing to stand up to her father. She shows no hesitation as she prepares to run away with Louise d’Armilly, excited by the prospect of finding her own way through Europe and making a name for herself as an artist. While the "feminine" Valentine lives life passively, depending upon other people to help her overcome any obstacles, "masculine" Eugénie actively shapes her own destiny.

 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial