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

The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas père

Start Free Trial

Why couldn't Monte Cristo marry Mercedes in "The Count of Monte Cristo"?

Expert Answers

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

For all that they've been through a lot together, Edmond feels that he cannot marry Mercedes, the woman he'd loved for so long. Primarily, this is because he no longer harbors the same feelings for her as he once did. For her part, Mercedes has never stopped loving Edmond, but one senses the intensity of her feelings aren't reciprocated. It is very difficult for Edmond to have much respect for Mercedes, let alone love, after she marries the dastardly Fernand.

The very sight of Mercedes causes Edmond to tremble, as she undoubtedly reminds him not only of the love they once shared, but also of the immense trauma he suffered in the past. Edmond may have successfully carried out his elaborate plan of revenge, but he still cannot escape from the ghosts of the past, which continue to haunt him day by day. Edmond simply has too much emotional baggage and must make a clean break with the past if he's to move on with this life. Among other things, this means that he cannot be with Mercedes.

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