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

CHAPTER 30 - The Fifth of September

Summary

With anther three months to pay his debts and expecting that he will not be able to pay even then, Morrel travels to Paris to ask Danglars for money since it was due to Morrelís recommendation that Danglars entered the service of the Spanish banker under whom he became rich. Danglars refuses to give him money. Anticipating Morrelís complete ruin, his family sends for Maximilian, Morrelís son, from the army for moral support. On the day the money is due, Morrel is planning suicide when a man appears at the door giving Julie a note signed by Sinbad the Sailor which directs her to an apartment where she finds a red silk purse that she must give to her father before 11:00 am. Maximilien arrives and discovers his fatherís plans for suicide, which he regretfully accepts given his fatherís desperate situation.

Julie arrives in time to give her father the purse that contains a receipt for the owed sum and a large diamond with a note for "Julieís dowry". Emmanuel then tells them that a brand new, fully-equipped ship named "the Pharaon" has just entered Marseillesí harbor, an exact duplicate of the original and manned by all Morrelís former sailors. The man responsible for this remains a secret to the family and leaves Marseilles saying to himself and in regards to Morrel: "Be happy, noble heart, be blessed for all the good thou hast done and wilt do hereafter, and let my gratitude remain in obscurity like your good deeds". The man then bids farewell to all kindness, humanity and gratitude, swearing instead only vengeance and punishment.


Notes

Unable to pay his debts, Morrel (like Dantèsí at one time) experiencing utter misery and has absolutely no hope for his future or honour. He is considering suicide (proof of his misery), and his son accepts this as being an acceptable course of action. Notably, the younger Morrel will also experience the same time of misery and loss of hope at a later date, and will also consider suicide. Waiting precisely until Morrel is at his lowest and ready to die, the Count saves him and enriches him, marking his reward of Morrel for his kindness years earlier. Having rewarded his one and only true friend, Dantès resolves to harden his heart to focus now on punishment, "And now, farewell kindness, humanity, and gratitude! Farewell to all the feelings that expand the heart! I have been heavenís substitute to recompense the good - now the god of vengeance yields to me his power to punish the wicked!"

The return (or "resurrection") of the Pharaon is symbolic of Dantèsí new-found power over life and death, and we see that Dantèsí has achieved a level of divinity through his suffering and experience - much like the divine role attributed to Christ after his sufferings.

CHAPTER 31 - Italy: Sinbad the Sailor

Summary

The year is now 1838 and the Vicomte Albert de Morcerf is vacationing in Italy with his friend, the Baron Franz díEpinay, who has been living in Italy for the last three or four years. The two are planning a short vacation to Rome for the Carnival. Agreeing to meet Albert in Florence in a few days, Franz takes a short hunting trip to the Island of Monte Cristo, known as a refuge for smugglers and bandits. Meeting smugglers on the island, Franz agrees to have supper with their chief, who, upon learning Franz is French, wishes to receive him into his home provided he arrives blindfolded. Franz is stunned by the Chiefís magnificent underground cave palace and the Chief himself, described as a man of about 38-40 years of age, dressed in the Eastern fashion and with very pale skin. The Chief asks to be called "Sinbad the Sailor". Franz is amazed by everything about the man and his cave including the devotion of his servant, whose life he once saved. Franz gets the impression that Sinbad the Sailor has suffered much and appears focused on ideas of justice and revenge, despite his otherwise general kindness. The two have some hashish, after which Franz passes out, completely entranced by Sinbad and the palace.

Notes

The Count/Dantès has spent years preparing himself for the perfect revenge, which is set into motion by his introduction to Albert and Franz (although he only meets Franz in this chapter). It is likely that the Count learns the importance of these two men early on (Albert as Mercédèsí & Fernandís son and Franz as the son of General Quesnel, assassinated by Noirtier) so that he can use them in his plan. The Count is obviously now established and fiercely familiar and comfortable with the Eastern style of living, which he has adopted to a great degree. Franz sees the familiarity of the setting and style of the Countís manner, which makes him think of The Arabian Nights, particularly when the Count asks him to call him Sinbad the Sailor. Further, the Count is on good terms with the bandits and smugglers in the area.

It is in this chapter that the reader gets a good sense of who Dantès/the Count is now, the habits and intelligence he has acquired and the customs he has adopted. The conversation between Franz and the Count is very revealing as to the Countís plans, and he is startled by how much Franz can tell about him by just looking. Count: "Sometimes I amuse myself by delivering some bandit or criminal from the bonds of the law. Then I have my mode of dispensing justice, silent and sure, without respite or appeal, which condemns or pardons, and which no one sees." We also learn what he plans to do after he has accomplished his revenge (at the end of the novel): "When I have completed my affairs in Paris, I shall go and die in the East."

CHAPTER 32 - The Waking

Summary

Franz wakes in the morning to find Sinbad gone and himself on a beach with the sailors who had brought him to the island the night before. He futilely searches for the entrance to the magnificent cave. Franz leaves the island and proceeds to Florence to meet Albert and then the two travel to Rome for the Carnival. The two are told by the hotelís owner, Signor Pastrini, that all carriages in the city have already been rented well in advance for the carnival.

Notes

We learn more about the Count via conversations of other people. For example, he is an extreme philanthropist when the mood suits him, he consorts with bandits, and has no fear of the authorities. This makes sense given that the Count thinks at this time that he is being guided by the hand of God and that there is no higher authority. Dumas is going to shift the setting of the novel to Italy, and gives us some background on Rome, stating that there are four great events in Rome every year: the Carnival, Holy Week, Corpus Christi, and the Feast of St. Peter.

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