It is not a secret that a person’s world and outlook and behavior is shaped by his or her previous experience. If this experience is negative, this determines negative expectations and relations in future. Alexandre Dumas’ novel Count of Monte Cristo reveals the transformation of the main character from a naïve and affectionate young man into a dry and revengeful person, fixated on paying off for the evil committed against him.
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Thus, at the beginning of the novel the protagonist named Edmond Dantès seems to be the darling of fortune. He succeeds in all spheres of life and is on his way to even a more significant success. He is going to become a marine captain and is in love in his fiancée Mercédès whom he is about to marry. However, it appears that he has enemies in the circle of his would-be friends who are envious about his success. They organize a cunning operation against him, proving that he is guilty of a plot against the monarch. As a result, Edmond appears imprisoned by the end of his life without knowing at first who are to blame for this unfortunate turn of the fate. Luckily for him, he meets companions who help him escape from the jail in several years. Ten more years later he appears in Paris in the disguise of Count Monte Cristo to revenge for his losses.
It is worth saying that while at the beginning of the novel the man is an open person, he later has to wear a mask without being able to open his heart to anyone. His revenge does not make him happy because it is also related to vanity. He believes that he has the right of God to judge and punish people by taking lives from them. At first he seems satisfied, when he gets the first victim, Fernard Mondego, his former friend who betrayed him and married his fiancée. However, when innocent people get involved, Monte Cristo’s at a loss and doubts whether his actions are righteous. When Edward de Villefort is killed, Edmond feels guilty: “he felt he had passed beyond the bounds of vengeance, and that he could no longer say, “God is for and with me.”( Dumas, n.d.) He realizes that his mask becomes his face and that it is impossible to return the good personality that he used to have before.
The transformation of the character is symbolized by his change of name to Monte Cristo. This change reveals the fact that nothing of the old personality is left in the soul of the man. Fulfilling his revenge step by step, he refuses from the good part of his nature. However, it appears that hatred has not transformed Edmund completely. He is able to appreciate the good in people and reward them for their goodness and commitment. Thus, he helps Maximilian Morrel whom he appreciates for his honesty and courage to get his fiancée from her villainous step mother. Finally, the author demonstrates that love is the key to positive change. When Edmund meets Haydée and falls in love with her, he understands how tired he is revenge and hatred. He dreams of comfort and harmony, and finally he feels relief when he starts a new life with the beloved women.
So, in the novel Count Monte Cristo the author presents the main character in dynamic development. In the beginning of the novel the protagonist is affectionate and sincere young man who believes in the good nature of people. Because of his exposure to betrayal he loses his faith in people and becomes obsessed in revenge. Finally, he realizes that hatred is not able to make him happy and that love is more important than justice.