The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
As he is describing his fortune of 13 or 14 million francs to Dantes, the Abbe comes to believe that the young man could do enormous good with such wealth once he is freed. Dantes, however, secretly plots the revenge he will take on those who’ve wronged him. Dantes is familiar with Monte Cristo, a deserted island between Elba and Corsica, although the Abbe himself has never been there.
Dantes explicitly draws the link (in his mind) between the wealth he might gain and the revenge he plans to put into action. He knows that with the money hidden on Monte Cristo he would be able to arrange events and make plans that could result in the ruin of the men who harmed him – although he doesn’t yet articulate what these plans might be.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon
Dantes and the Abbe continue to pass the time together, although the Abbe insists that in the next few months he will suffer a third seizure and die. Dantes, for his part, says he will continue nursing the Abbe, so the two discuss the treasure and keep at their lessons. Dantes is grateful to the Abbe for teaching him history, philosophy, and some of the languages of the world; this gratitude helps Dantes to feel contented, even when the guards of the Chateau D’If (still unaware of both men’s half-completed plan for escape) reinforce the outer wall and fill in, with heavy stones, the shaft on which Dantes depended for his freedom. Dantes tries not to think of his past, nor of his future, but only of his present friendship with the Abbe.
Although Dantes and the Abbe have worked tirelessly for over a year to escape the Chateau D’If, they also know that their escape will depend on luck – on circumstances breaking their way. Here, they realize that an unlucky event has occurred. Yet they do what they can to maintain a positive attitude, despite the Abbe’s understanding that his best and perhaps only shot at freedom seems to have been taken away – and not because the guards caught wind of their plan. Instead, by simple accident, the hole necessary for their escape has been filled in.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
One morning, Dantes awakens to the Abbe’s cries and realizes that he is undergoing his third seizure. He rushes in to help him, using the same passageway between their cells they’ve long depended upon, and sees that the Abbe is on the verge of death. He insists he can save the old man with the vial of the red potion given before, but the Abbe says this will only partially alleviate his symptoms; it cannot cure him.
The Abbe is not able to explain to Dantes why he knows that he will die after his third seizure. Dantes simply takes on faith the Abbe’s pronouncement, and indeed the Abbe is correct. This is another instance of the Abbe’s almost supernatural knowledge and self-possession – he seems to be his own best doctor.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Abbe undergoes his third and final seizure, with Dantes by his side, and though Dantes does administer the potion, it does very little. After some hours, the Abbe dies, and Dantes sits by his side until he must return to his cell. Deeply moved, but also wondering what will become of the Abbe’s body, he listens as the wardens and the governor of the prison, along with a doctor, enter Faria’s cell on the other side of the wall and check that he is truly dead by branding his heel with a hot iron. The Abbe is indeed dead, and the officials say that he will be placed in a clean shroud before being sent off to the D’If’s graveyard. When the officials leave Faria’s cell and lock it, Dantes creeps in.
Although Dantes does not yet know it, his own father has already died in Marseille. In prison, Dantes witnesses the death of another father-figure of his – this time owing to a condition both men are powerless to stop. When the Abbe dies, Dantes realizes that he is completely alone in the Chateau D’If, as far as allies go. He must depend upon his own wiles and all that he’s learned from the Abbe in life to attempt to escape the prison and exact his revenge.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
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