Out of all Alexander Dumas’ stories, this is the one I like best. I saw the movie first before I was able to read the book, but even before watching Jim Caviezel in all his lovely vengeful glory, I was sold on the idea of somebody so driven by revenge, even against the woman he once loved.
Of course, that’s pretty much the staple in local telenovelas: downtrodden and abused hero goes into self-exile and returns after years of accumulating wealth and nursing an angry heart. S/He then goes on to systematically and cruelly stomp on his/her abusers.
Well. They weren’t as crafty or cunning as Edmond was, nor were they as sleek. A love interest always managed to muck things up for the telenovela heroes, but with Edmond, they were not a problem at all.
I suppose what struck me most was how calculated everything he did was, even to the time of arrival of the ship that saved his beloved former employer Pierre Morrel from ruin. Around ten years of imprisonment and eventual education with the Abbe Faria had taught him patience, among other things, I suppose, which is why he never rushed his plans. But beneath it all, he still remained essentially GOOD. Sure he made his oppressors pay for what they did, but at the same time, he looked out for Morrel and his family, he forgave Danglars, he gave Caderousse several chances to turn his life around, and a whole bunch more, not to mention saving Haidee from slavery.
He was driven, he was focused, he was angry and cold, but he never let go of the good inside him.
Yeah, this is my favorite revenge story.
Reflection on writing:
This was difficult to write. I had no clear goal in writing this piece. All I know is that I wanted to talk about this story because I really liked it and had nobody to talk to about this when I finished reading this a few years back. Hm, maybe I’ll suggest this in my book club.