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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 47 - The Dappled Greys

Summary

Danglars enters his wife’s sitting room where she and M. Debray are speaking, and she is introduced to the Count. She is already impressed by the Count from all that she has heard regarding his fortune and lifestyle. Madame Danglars suddenly learns from her attendant that her favorite two horses (which she had intended to lend to her friend, Madame de Villefort) were sold by her husband that morning, and then everyone in the room learns that it was the Count that purchased them. Madame Danglars is visibly angry with her husband, and the Count and Debray leave immediately. Later that day, the Count returns the dappled greys to the Baroness as a gift, with a large diamond attached to each. That night, the Count goes to his house at Auteuil, and the following day, asks his slave Ali to stop the wild dappled greys which he knows will rush by the house the next day, probably out of control. As expected, Ali rescues the out-of-control carriage with Madame de Villefort and her young son Edward inside the next day, and she is extremely thankful to the Count, of whom she has heard a great deal. Ali takes Madame de Villefort and her son home, where she immediately writes a letter to Baroness Danglars describing what happened, asking the Baroness to arrange another meeting with the Count. Practically all of Paris hears of the incident and Villefort immediately goes to visit the Count.

Notes

The Count also remarks that Madam Danglars is having an affair with Debray, which he will also use to his advantage with the telegraph later. The Count’s methods of ingratiating himself to the people who will figure highly in his revenge plots are impressive, as evidenced by his purchase and return of Madame Danglars’ horses and by his rescue of Madame de Villefort. The Count’s reputation in Paris grows.


CHAPTER 48 - Ideology

Summary

Villefort is by this time a well-known and powerful magistrate in Paris, married for the second time to Héloise. He has an 18 year old daughter, Valentine, from his previous marriage to Renée de Saint-Méran, and a son Edward from his second marriage. Villefort is, by this time, very arrogant and haughty. He coolly thanks the Count for rescuing his wife the day before and the conversation between the two men is strained. In denigrating Villefort’s profession, the Count states that he considers himself to be an agent of Providence, to recompense and to punish, which shocks and interests de Villefort. Villefort describes his father Noirtier who he believes, struck down by a ruptured blood vessel in his brain some years before, must certainly be being punished for an evil deed.


Notes

Meeting Villefort again, we learn that he has grown even more arrogant with his high position in Parisian society. Villefort and the Count engage in a brilliantly written conversation regarding justice and ideology. Monte Cristo: "I am the angel of the Lord;" and the other, "I am the hammer of God," in order that the divine essence in both might be revealed.’ - ‘Then,’ said Villefort, more and more amazed, and really supposing he was speaking to a mystic or a madman, ‘you consider yourself as one of those extraordinary beings whom you have mentioned?’ ‘And why not?’ said Monte Cristo coldly." Dumas uses this chapter to show the opposing ideologies of Monte Cristo and Villefort as regards justice, both of which are strangely warped by their own experiences.

CHAPTER 49 - Haidee

Summary

Haidee, the Count’s slave, is living in separate chambers from the Count in complete luxury with four attendants to wait on her. She is obviously fond of the Count and wishes he were more familiar with her, but recognizes that she is his slave and that he is her master. The Count tells her that now that they are in France, Haidee is technically free to leave him, which she refuses to do, stating that the Count and her father are the only ones who have ever told her they love her. The Count reiterates that she is now free if she chooses, but asks that she promise to carefully guard the secret of her birth, and not mention the names of her parents to anyone. Haidee agrees. Although the Count tells Haidee that he loves her as his daughter, Haidee tells him that the love she feels for him is very different from the love she felt for her father.


Notes

Haidee was purchased by the Count as his slave, and she is clearly aware of her role despite their fondness for each other. However, it seems likely that the Count originally made her his slave to bind her to him because she will play a part in his revenge scheme and he needs her. At this point, however, he obviously feels kindly enough towards her by this point to offer her freedom if she wants it.

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