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Free Study Guide-The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 102 - Valentine

Summary

Madame de Villefort returns to Valentine’s room to discard the rest of Valentine’s drink (which the Count has partially emptied in an effort to make it appear as if Valentine has drunk from it) and clean the glass. Checking on Valentine, she finds that Valentine appears dead. In the morning, the doctor pronounces Valentine dead and Madame de Villefort is astonished to see that the glass with the poisoned drink (that she had earlier discarded) now has liquid in it resembling the poison she used. Madame de Villefort collapses. To his shock, Morrel arrives and learns that Valentine is dead.

Notes

As a final punishment to Villefort for not having protected his daughter, the Count has arranged for Valentine to appear dead. Having known there was a poisoner in his home, Villefort has only himself to blame at this point.

CHAPTER 103 - Maximilian

Summary

Despite Villefort’s shock at seeing Morrel in his house and his demand that Morrel leave, Morrel carries Noirtier in his wheelchair upstairs to Valentine’s room. Morrel tells Villefort that he loved Valentine and was engaged to marry her. Although Villefort forgives him in his grief, Morrel demands that Valentine be avenged as she has been assassinated, which Villefort guiltily denies. Morrel states everything he knows about the poisonings, which the doctor confirms. Noirtier then asks to be left alone with Villefort so that he may tell him the identity of the murderer. Villefort emerges from the conversation promising to revenge Valentine and secure justice. Villefort and Noirtier both refuse to tell Morrel or the doctor the identity of the murderer, and explain that this is because the revenge will be horrific. Morrel leaves, and the doctor makes arrangements for a priest to come to the house. As the Abbé Busoni next door is the closest priest, he is brought into the house to pray by Valentine’s bedside beside Noirtier.


Notes

Accused of being an accomplice in his daughter’s death, Villefort is brought back to attention by Noirtier, the doctor and Morrel, who demand that the accused be brought to justice. Although he tries initially to refuse the possibility that Valentine was murdered, upon learning from Noirtier that his wife is the guilty party, he takes it upon himself to punish her - and thus one more evil person will be punished as per the Count’s plans. In this case, however, Villefort is still not willing to recognize his own guilt, and prefers to punish his wife alone.

CHAPTER 104 - Danglars’ Signature

Summary

The following day, Valentine’s body is removed from the house and there is a mourning reception at the de Villefort’s. While others attend the funeral procession, the Count goes to see Danglars, who is distraught over the affair with Benedetto/Andrea and now the loss of his daughter, who he pretends has asked permission to leave with a relation due to her embarrassment over the Andrea scandal. Danglars claims to be happy because at least he is rich, but when the Count announces his intention to draw five million francs from Danglars, Danglars is very shaken but gives the Count the money for the sake of appearances. As the Count leaves, M. de Boville, the receiver general of the charities, arrives to see Danglars to ask for the five million francs he has come to collect on behalf of the widows and orphans charity. Danglars explains that he needs 24 hours to pay M. de Boville the five million, as it would appear strange to the governor if he paid out ten million francs in one day.

The receiver general agrees to come back the next day at 12:00 p.m., and mentions that Madame de Morcerf and her son have given their entire fortune to the hospital charities and that Mercédès has retired to the country while Albert has entered the army. Danglars tells the receiver general that Eugénie has entered a convent. As soon as the receiver-general leaves, Danglars prepares to leave the country, burning papers, getting his passport, leaving a note for his wife, and carefully taking the Count’s receipt for 5.1 million francs which he can cash with the bankers Thomson & French in Rome.

Notes

It is clear in this chapter that the Count - under the disguise of the Abbé Busoni - has explained his plan regarding Valentine’s faked death to Noirtier, and Noirtier is evidently willing to punish Villefort by not telling him that Valentine is actually alive. Because so much weight has been given to the legality of duels in this story, it appears clear to the reader that although Noirtier killed Franz d’Epinay’s father in a duel long ago, this act is not considered evil by the Count or Dumas, as Noirtier is consistently characterized as a good person.

Ironically also in this chapter, is Danglars’ statement to the Count that he almost wonders whether or not he may have wished harm upon the Morcerfs, as that would have justified the circumstances in which he currently finds himself, which he describes by saying, ‘He who wishes misfortunes to happen to others experiences them himself." Of course, this statement will be true of Danglars far more than he is presently aware in less than a week’s time, due however, to evil deeds committed long ago and not those relating to his ill wishes for the Morcerfs.

CHAPTER 105 - The Cemetery of Père-la-Chaise

Summary

The Count has caught up to Valentine’s funeral procession at the cemetery, where he anxiously seeks Morrel. Morrel is too upset to speak to the Count and the Count later follows him to his home where he must break into Morrel’s room to see him. Morrel is preparing to kill himself and is angry at the Count both for interrupting him and for falsely promising that Valentine would be saved. The Count then reveals that it was he, Edmond Dantès, who saved Morrel’s father and business years ago. Morrel immediately tells his sister and her husband Emmanuel, who are overcome in their thanks. Pointing out the pistols on Morrel’s desk, the Count asks Emmanuel to watch over Morrel, and announces that in a week he will have left France.

Alone again with Morrel, the Count asks Morrel to wait and hope for one month, at which time he promises to have cured Morrel of his grief. Although unbelieving, Morrel promises to wait one month because of his family’s history with the Count and because it is September 5, ten years to the day that the Count saved his father. Morrel agrees to leave Paris with the Count in one week. The Count tells Morrel that he must come live with him the following day, and that Haidee has already left Paris to wait for the Count elsewhere.

Notes

Understanding Morrel’s character and love for Valentine, the Count is concerned that Morrel will contemplate suicide as his father had once done, and resolves to put him to a sort of loving test, to ensure Morrel hits rock bottom before he can be truly happy, and to teach him the importance of hope. "I tell you to hope, because I have a method of curing you...I have confidence in the remedy I propose, and only ask you to permit me to assure you of its efficacy."

In revealing himself as Edmond Dantès, the Count forfeits his original intention to let his good deeds go unrecognized, making it obvious he feels like he has come full circle with the Morrels, and that he must now reveal his identity to save the son of the man he saved years ago.

CHAPTER 106 - Dividing the Proceeds

Summary

Meeting in a poor hotel, Madame Danglars tells Debray that her husband has left, leaving her a letter explaining that he has lost almost everything and that she is mostly to blame. The letter states that he could not bear to admit the next day that he did not have the five million francs for the charities, and that he was sure that his wife would be fine and rich enough without him. Debray takes the news coldly, and recommends that Madame Danglars also leave France to travel. Debray gives her her share of the fortune the two have amassed together, about 1,340,000 francs.

Although Madame Danglars appears to have hoped that Debray would offer her some sort future together, it is clear that he is not interested. In the meantime, Mercédès and Albert are living very poorly in the same hotel, making plans to go to Marseilles to retrieve the 3,000 francs hidden there by Dantès/the Count. Albert has joined the Spahis (the French cavalry in Africa) for which he has received 1,000 francs for his mother to live on. As the two leave their room, they encounter Debray who is kind to them, but embarrassed that he has so much money and they so little. The next day, Madame de Morcerf leaves for Marseilles, where Albert will meet her a few days later.

Notes

After being abandoned by her husband, Madame Danglars, we learn, has been used all along for Debray’s financial gain, making him not very different from her own husband, who used her for the same purpose. We are reintroduced to the Morcerfs, who are living very humbly in comparison to their positions only a month ago, in an attempt to live honourably. They will be the only of the Count’s "victims" to have had the potential to do so, and who are availing themselves of the opportunity. Most importantly in this chapter is the Count’s recognition of their diminished position, and his increasing sense of questioning his own methods and actions, as when he exclaims to himself, "Alas..how can I restore the happiness I have taken away from these poor innocent creatures? God help me!"

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