The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo: Chapter 45 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Bertuccio continues his story, saying that the jeweler retires to sleep that night, and Bertuccio notices, from his hutch beneath the stairs, that Caderousse and La Carconte are talking in low tones at the kitchen table. Bertuccio falls asleep, and is awoken by the sound of a pistol-shot—he also feels a pool of warm blood dripping onto him, from the floorboards above. He goes out into the hallway to see that Caderousse has escaped (with the diamond), having shot La Carconte through the throat, and that La Carconte has fatally stabbed the jeweler upstairs, causing the “shower of blood.”
This is one of the more physically shocking and repulsive scenes in the novel. Bertuccio, who himself is hiding from the police, wakes up drenched in blood, and the reader thus finds out about the murders of La Carconte and the jeweler only indirectly, as Bertuccio does. One can say, then, that this scene is filtered through Bertuccio’s consciousness – that the reader learns only what he does.
Themes
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon
Bertuccio tries to run away, but he is caught by police who have been tracking him since his smuggling misadventure the previous night. Bertuccio realizes that the police will charge him with the double homicide, and that his only hope for an alibi is the Abbe Busoni—the man who, earlier in the day, gave the diamond to Caderousse. If Bertuccio can find Busoni, whom he requests as a material witness to the case, then the story of Caderousse’s and La Carconte’s guilt can be made plain.
This is another instance of coincidence in the novel, though of the bad sort. Bertuccio cannot find any fitting explanation for why he has left the house of a double homicide covered in blood. It is in fact natural that the police should believe he was associated with the crime of killing La Carconte and the jeweler, and indeed Bertuccio does feel guilty, although of a different crime: the supposed killing of Villefort.
Themes
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon
By some miracle, Busoni does manage to turn up at Bertuccio’s prison, where the interview takes place to which Bertuccio now refers: his confession of the supposed murder of Villefort, in the garden, and his insistence that he is not guilty of the double homicide at the inn. On Bertuccio’s testimony, Caderousse is eventually caught and he confesses to the murders, which earns him a life sentence in prison. When Bertuccio is released, the Abbe Busoni recommends him into the service of the Count of Monte Cristo, for whom he is now a devoted servant.
This is one of the cleverest uses in the novel of Dantes’s multiple identities. Here, as Abbe Busoni, he encourages Bertuccio to tell his life-story – then, again, as the Count of Monte Cristo, he has Bertuccio confirm this entire story, since Bertuccio does not understand that the Abbe and the Count are the same person. In short, the Count has insured that Bertuccio will be indebted to him and devoted to him with his life, since the Abbe and the Count are apparently close friends, and the Count has saved Bertuccio from time in prison.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon
Monte Cristo asks what has become of Assunta and Benedetto, and Bertuccio says it is a sad end to the story. Benedetto, along with a gang of Corsican hoodlums, tries to rob his own adoptive mother, and, in holding her feet to a cooking fire, he burns her to death and then escapes. Bertuccio tells Monte Cristo that he hopes Benedetto has died somewhere, but the Count insists, mysteriously, that Benedetto is still alive, ready to serve as God’s instrument of vengeance. The Count says Bertuccio has behaved well except only for one mistake: that he didn’t return the young child (now Benedetto) to his mother after the man attempted to bury him in the garden. Bertuccio admits that this is so, then thanks the Count for his forgiveness. The chapter ends with the Count returning to his mansion in Paris, where he welcomes the equally mysterious Haydee—the “Greek” or “Albanian” woman who was his partner in Rome—to live with him in her own rooms.
The Count thus renders judgment on Bertuccio, just as the Abbe Busoni listened to Bertuccio’s confession and told him how he might achieve penance by going off to work for the Count. The Count believes that Bertuccio’s attack on Villefort was indeed justified, based on the vendetta for his brother. But the Count argues that Bertuccio ought to have returned Benedetto to Villefort’s mistress, something that Bertuccio acknowledges would have been the correct gesture. Bertuccio believes that he was selfish in trying to raise Benedetto as his own son. But this is a far cry from what might be considered the more significant crimes of this passage, especially the attempted murder of Villefort. This story thus shows the novel’s complex understanding of human guilt and the circumstances surrounding it.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon
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