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

CHAPTER 91 - Mother and Son

Summary

Albert tells his friends he intends to leave Paris. He returns home and learns that his mother also intends to leave Fernand and Paris to start her life anew. The two leave immediately while Fernand is away, and are stopped on the way by a letter from the Count offering Mercédès the 150 louis that he had originally planned to give her before his arrest years before, which is buried near his old house in Marseilles. The letter begs Albert to have his mother accept the money since their loss of honor, pride and fortune is not her fault. Mercédès accepts the offer, stating her intention to join a convent.

Notes

This chapter illustrates the complete transformation of Albert, which has been in progress since his first meeting with the Count. He is no longer the arrogant Albert in Italy and appears poised to escape "the sins of his father" as he tells his mother: "...since yesterday I have learned the power of will. Alas, my dear mother, some have suffered so much, and yet live, and have raised a new fortune on the ruin of all the promises of happiness which heaven had made them - on the fragments of all the hope which God had given them! I have seen that, mother; I know that from the gulf in which their enemies have plunged them they have risen with so much vigour and glory that in their turn they have ruled their former conquerors, and have punished them." In following with the Countís forgiveness of Albert and his mother, he admits he considers Mercédès wholly innocent - and a victim in his betrayal years before.

CHAPTER 92 - The Suicide

Summary

Morrel returns from the aborted duel with the Count to the Countís house and then leaves to see Valentine, although he has still not told the Count her name. Haideeís happiness that the Count has returned safely suggests to the Count that she may love him as more than a father, and he is also beginning to view her as other than a daughter. Fernand goes to see the Count after learning that Albert apologized to the Count at the duel and demands to know what happened and why he was not revenged by his son. Morcerf challenges the Count to a duel instead, stating that he instinctively hates the Count and feels that he always has. The Count reveals his true identity as Edmond Dantès and Fernand is stunned. Returning home, Fernand sees his wife and son preparing to leave and shoots himself fatally in the head.


Notes

Upon Fernand de Morcerfís visit to the Count, we learn how much the Count has become fond of Albert when he defends Fernandís son, stating: "M. Albert de Morcerf is no coward!" In this chapter, Fernandís punishment is complete; he has been publicly shamed, his son and wife are leaving him and he learns the identity of the Count - as Dantès once lost everything, now so has Fernand. Unlike Dantès, however, Fernand gives up (he does not "hope") and kills himself.

CHAPTER 93 - Valentine

Summary

Morrel goes to see Valentine and Noirtier, and Valentine tells Morrel that she and Noirtier are planning to leave the house soon, particularly as her grandfather thinks she does not seem well. Valentine has been feeling ill and is gradually taking larger doses of her grandfatherís medicine on his advice. Valentine leaves the two men when Madame and Eugénie Danglars arrive; the two have come to announce the approaching marriage of Eugénie to Andrea Cavalcanti. Valentine, feeling very ill, leaves the Danglarsí to rest and collapses on the floor.

Notes

In this chapter, we see Valentine is steadily being poisoned by her step-mother, and that Noirtier suspects who is responsible.

CHAPTER 94 - Maximilianís Avowal

Summary

With Valentineís collapse, Morrel quickly leaves and Villefort immediately leaves to get the doctor, who is surprised to learn that his suspicions must have been wrong as Valentine is the one now ill. Hoping Monte Cristo can help, Morrel goes to his house and tells the Count everything about his love for Valentine, and his fear that she is now being poisoned. The Count is horrified to learn that Morrel loves someone related to Villefort, but promises to help and sends Morrel home. Alone with the doctor, Noirtier tells him that he anticipated the attempt to poison Valentine and had thus prepared her system by giving her his own medicine (containing brucine) over time. Villefort arrives with a prescription ordered by the doctor. At the same time, the "Abbé Busoni" moves into the dilapidated house adjacent to Villefortís.

Notes

The Count, further expressing his beliefs in regards to punishment and revenge, tells Morrel that "blood washes out shame" to illustrate he has not the least regret for Fernandís death. As Morrel finally admits to the Count that he is love with Valentine and fears for her life, the Count is understandably shocked that he has been inadvertently hurting Morrel in pursuing his punishment of Villefort and his family as a whole. In referring to the deaths in the Villefort home, the Count says, "You say an exterminating angel appears to have devoted that house to Godís anger - well, who says your supposition is not reality? Do not notice things which those whose interest it is to see them pass over. If it is Godís justice, instead of his anger, which is walking through that house, Maximilian, turn away your face and let his justice accomplish its purpose." The Countís conviction is summed up completely in his reference to the Greek tragedy of the house of Atreus, where Atreusí children were punished for their fatherís evil deeds.

CHAPTER 95 - Father & Daughter

Summary

Prior to the Danglarsí visit to the Villefortís, Eugénie meets her father to discuss her intention not to marry Andrea, and her preference to remain independent. Danglars insists that as their family is now almost financially ruined, she must marry as he can and will not otherwise support her, and as he himself needs the money that Andrea will bring to the marriage. Surprised at her fatherís financial situation and in an effort to help him, Eugénie agrees to marry Andrea so that her fatherís credit can be restored, provided he then allow her to be free. She dos not reveal her secret plans for freedom following the wedding, and further agrees to make the necessary marriage announcements and social visits.

Notes

We see in this chapter that Danglars is as ambitious and greedy as ever, and that, understanding his daughterís intention to leave Paris after her wedding, is willing to betray Cavalcanti to gain his money. However, we also sense his desperation as he is almost ruined by multiple financial misfortunes, which Dumas describes by noting Danglarsí extreme nervousness, as when he writes: "Exactly, my daughter; that is precisely what I mean, said Danglars, almost digging his nails into his breast, while he preserved on his harsh features the smile of the heartless though clever man.."

CHAPTER 96 - The Contract

Summary

On the day of the signing of the marriage contract between Eugénie and Andrea, Andrea goes to see the Count to ask him to stand in for the part of his father at the contract signing. The Count refuses, and is adamant that Andrea understand that he does not have the Count to thank for help in arranging the marriage in any way and indeed, the Count stresses that he hardly knows Andrea at all. Andrea is concerned that the three million francs he is supposed to receive from his "father" in Italy following the marriage is going to be invested immediately by Danglars and that he will not be able to access it.

Distinguished guests including the Count attend the marriage contract signing, and Eugénieís friend and fellow musician Louise thanks the Count for the letters of introduction he has given her for Italy that she intends to use immediately. As the contract is being signed, the Count remarks that the police found a note addressed to Danglars among the recently murdered Caderousseís clothing. Hearing the name of the murdered man, both Danglars and Andrea look uneasy. Danglars looks for Andrea when it is his turn to sign the contract, but he has disappeared. The police arrive looking for "Andrea Cavalcanti", accused of having murdered Caderousse.

Notes

As Andrea prepares to marry Eugénie, the Count once more reminds Andrea that he does not personally know him or vouch for him, and indeed acts coldly towards him, somewhat betraying his inner sentiments. The Countís plan to humiliate Danglars and punish Benedetto/Andrea is put into action that night at the contract signing, and Dumas appears to take pleasure in recounting the downfall of the Countís enemies as narrator, writing: "Danglars, who thought himself even threatened (some consciences are never calm).."

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