The Count of Monte Cristo - Book Review

Literature Sep 6, 2021
"Bitterness is venom that consumes its host"

Framed and arrested for a crime he did not commit, Edmond Dantès spends 14 agonizing years in solitary confinement before he manages to escape. When he gets out, he finds his father has died of starvation, and his beloved has married one of his persecutors. Filled with rage and bitterness, Edmond Dantès makes a vow to destroy the lives of those who destroyed his life to satisfy their jealousy.

But he doesn't just seek to wreak havoc on those who did him wrong. He also tried to reward those who were kind to him.

"I wish to be Providence myself,  for I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world, is to recompense and punish."

Edmond Dantès wanted to be providence himself. He was tired of trusting in God to bring it about in "due time."  But the bible is clear. The Lord will repay the evil. For a mortal to go and try to be providence is usurping authority from the Lord.

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon them.’ — Deuteronomy 32:35
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. — Romans 12:17-19

The Bible clearly says, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." For humans to try to repay is not only a needless burden but wrong. We are encroaching on the authority of God.

The effects of Edmond Dantès' vengeance fell on a lot of innocent people. If everyone took a blow of providence the way Dantès took it—taking recompense into their own hands—the world would revolve into a vicious cycle. Mahatma Gandhi said it best:

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Honestly, The Count of Monte Cristo reminds me a lot of Great Expectations. Miss Havisham is not all that different from Edwards Dantès. Both of them were injured, both of them took providence into their own hands, and both of them destroyed the lives of innocent people.

All in all, I beat up on Edmond Dantès a lot in this article, but what he did was perfectly natural. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can return good for evil. I'd rate this book at three stars and recommend it to those who like to think through things for themselves.


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