The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo: Chapter 56 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Count goes into the other room where he meets with a young man with blonde hair and a red beard who goes by the name of Andrea Cavalcanti. The Count repeats to this younger man what he’s said to the father—that he is ready to introduce the two of them. Andrea replies that he is doing what the letter he was sent has said: this letter, sent by Lord Wilmore (also known as Sinbad the Sailor), offered to put Andrea into contact with the Major, and also promised documents proving they are father in son, so that both men can inherit the family money of which the Major is now sole heir: about 500,000 francs per year.
Here, the Count has arranged the presence of Andrea and the Major with such clockwork precision that it seems hard to imagine how he could be so detail-oriented and fastidious. But the reader can remember that there have been other moments in which the Count’s attention to detail has been noted, including his visit, correct to the minute, to Albert’s home in Paris, after the meeting was planned by the two men many months previously in Rome.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon
In the next room, Andrea and the Major meet, but it is not so warm a greeting as might be supposed. When the Count ducks out for a moment, Andrea and the Major indicate what they each know: that they have somehow been “set up,” that they are not really father and son, though each has lost either a father or a son; and that someone, presumably the Count, wants them to appear as though they really are related. When the Count returns, he invites both to his house at Auteuil that weekend, to meet, among others, the Baron Danglars, who is to give them their newly-official inheritance. Both Cavalcantis agree to this date, and when they leave, the Count announces to himself that they are both “wretches,” but they seem to be willing to pretend they are in fact father and son for the money he has promised them.
The “Cavalcantis” reveal that they both know they are a part of a plot. What’s important is, they don’t seem to care too much that the plot has been set in motion. Both the Major and Andrea believe they will benefit from whatever the Count is doing, and so they are willing to go along with what he says. This passivity in the face of other people’s plotting might remind the reader of Caderousse, who was also willing to go along with Danglars, in part because he did not have the courage to stop what had already been put into motion. If the Count is a man of action, always creating plans, people like the Major, Andrea, and Caderousse are characters always reacting, passive to the desires and machinations of others.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
The Domestic and the Foreign Theme Icon