In Alexandre Dumas’s novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes receives a newfound power given to him by his “God,” which he uses to restore balance and justice to whoever deserves it. Much like how Abraham Lincoln believes that “nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power,” Edmond gradually changes from seeking out and finding the riches on the Isle of Monte Cristo, which ultimately symbolizes competence and authority, testing his character throughout the plot.
In the rising climax of the novel, Dantes consistently plans out his next moves without haste. Immediately after escaping the prison Villefort plans to keep him in for as long as he lives, Dantes searches for the treasure, and as soon as he uncovers it, he “falls on his knees and utters a prayer to God, to whom he attributes this windfall.” This marks the turning point in the novel.
After Dantes’ best efforts, he uncovers the vast treasure the isle of Monte Cristo offers; however, his objectives are far from over, as he plans to administer righteousness throughout the land. Using the valuables Dantes obtains, and his knowledge of Caderousse’s greed, Dantes (in disguise as Abbe Busoni) confronts Caderousse to learn the whereabouts of his loved ones. He states that Dantes “[wants] the diamond’s worth divided among the only five people he ever loved,” and Caderousse, seeing the opening to secure the diamond for his desires, takes the bait and explains the situation to Abbe Busoni (Dantes in disguise).
Dantes learns from Caderousse what has become of the others. From this point, Dantes plans out his vengeance on his betrayers. After many of his plans have taken place successfully, the Count has no intention to “go easy” on Fernand, despite him being the husband of Mercedes, the Count’s ongoing love. The Count exposes Fernand by “linking his name with the Ali Pasha affair”; therefore, Fernand’s crime becomes clear to the entire community. The Count goes to no end to satisfy his lust for revenge. He willingly goes through Albert and even Mercedes to fulfill his goal: punishingcrudely punishing Fernandearning of his father’s situation, Albert declares that he “will kill the man responsible for [his] father’s disgrace or die trying,” resulting in him challenging the Count to a duel. The Count gladly accepts the offer, knowing that he will easily win with his admirable skills in gunmanship. The Count plans to win the duel, resulting in Albert’s death and an even bigger situation for Fernand; however, because of Mercedes’ motherly love for Albert, she convinces The Count to purposely lose the duel, revealing some of the Count’s characteristics.
Near the end, the Count finally realizes his bad doing, which enlightens his character after all the suffering he causes in multiple households. Dantes desperately attempts to obtain his revenge, and eventually succeeds; however, “in the eyes of Albert and Mercedes,” Monte Cristo causes much change in their lives, which leaves him with the weight of guilt. Monte Cristo’s work comes back to haunt him. He decides that he needs to repay Mercedes and Albert for his doing against Fernand, and can do so with the money he has been saving since before his arrest, which was meant specifically for Mercedes. Post realizing his bad intentions, The Count has yet to obtain revenge on Danglars, but I am in the process of doing so. Danglars, held captive in a cell, cries out for mercy and regrets everything after a familiar voice asks him if he “repents his evil ways.” The Count ultimately sets Danglars free, despite his betrayal against Dantes. It is at this point that the Count knows he does not, in any way, replace God and his judgment, and as a result, he forgives Danglars full-heartedly, which sparks a new positive view on his character.
Alexandre Dumas portrays the Count as evil and lust with a shroud of glory and righteousness. The treasure, symbolizing power, is given to Dantes, who uses it to enact what his character believes is right and fair. Although the Count devotes his entire life to no end in reaching the satisfaction of revenge, he peacefully changes his mind, which is revealed after he pardons Danglars for his actions half-heartedly. The treasure primarily tests Dantes’s character in the novel as the wealth essentially allows him to do what he wants; however, Dantes’s operations shift as the story progresses, giving the reader various perspectives on his actions.