The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo Chapter 104 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The funeral for Valentine commences, and the narrator shifts his attention to a commercial interaction between the Baron Danglars and the Count, who spots him outside his home. The Count says he would like to take up the balance of his initially-requested credit with the Baron, for a sum of 5 million francs, assuming that the Baron has it on hand. The Baron pretends that this is no issue, that he will be able to cash out the receipts the Count holds; but when the Count heads to the Bank of France with these receipts, the Baron is met by Boville, the former inspector of prisons, who is collecting money for a charity hospice.
The Count wishes to allow himself the joy of collecting a final amount of money from Danglars that Danglars himself is unable to pay out. This is a mirror and an opposite to the scene far earlier in the text, when the Count, as Lord Wilmore, offers Old Morrel sufficient money to remain open and in business. The Count seems to delight just as much, if not more, in viewing the financial ruin of one family as the financial security of another.
Themes
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
It turns out that this hospice also has 5 million francs drawn on the Baron. This rather complex set of banking conversations reduces to the simple fact that the Baron does not have enough money to cover his debts. He is, in fact, bankrupt. The Count of course knows this, but Boville does not yet, and so the Baron tries to maintain his composure with him during their conversation. He tells Boville, headed to the funeral, that he himself will not be going, that he must instead go back to the office. At home, Danglars takes his remaining funds (about 50,000 francs) and his passport and prepares to leave the country as his daughter Eugenie has just done, presumably to avoid financial ruin.
Fernand has committed suicide rather than accept public humiliation for the treachery he engaged in overseas. Caderousse has died, not being given the option to atone for his past crimes, after the Count determined that he was fundamentally beyond redemption. But Danglars tries to take his chances abroad, figuring that if he escapes Paris, he at least has a chance of speculating whatever money he retains in another market, with the hope of regaining some of what he’s lost.
Themes
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon