The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo: Chapter 96 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Andrea presents himself at the house of the Count, where he announces, proudly, that he is officially to be married to Eugenie, and that he will have his own money invested in the railways on which Danglars seems to be betting enormously in the financial markets. Andrea thanks the Count for arranging his marriage to Eugenie, but at this the Count insists that he did nothing at all to arrange the match—that actually Andrea has done it all, as has Eugenie, of private accord, and that the Count has been merely a spectator. Although Andrea is surprised at this refusal by the Count, he nevertheless asks that the Count join the signing ceremony for the contract at the Danglars’ in a few hours, to which the Count assents.
Once again the Count makes it clear that he feels he has done nothing to make this match, that he has only observed it as it has unfolded. Of course, the reader knows that this is not the case, as he has helped to build up Andrea’s reputation in Paris by giving him the identity of a Cavalcanti. The Count has also helped to punish Danglars by manipulating the market and causing him enormous financial losses, thus putting him in a position to require a marriage to Andrea in the first place. But all this has occurred behind the scenes.
Themes
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
At the signing ceremony, Danglars proudly presents Eugenie, who has assented to the marriage and signed the contract. But the Count points out that he’s just received word from a servant that a cloak was found at his house—the very same cloak that Andrea/Benedetto leant to Caderousse for use in the burglary at the Count’s mansion. In this cloak is a letter addressed to Danglars, although only the salutation is readable.
Again, the Count has arranged matters so that the truth will come out at the worst possible moment. His revenge plot against Danglars has come to full fruition: Danglars is dependent upon the perceived wealth of Andrea in order to save his family, and at this moment Andrea will be revealed to in fact be the hardened criminal Benedetto.
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
At this, Andrea disappears from the room, only to be sought after by gendarmes who have visited the Danglars’ home to arrest him. They charge him with the murder of Caderousse, assert that Andrea’s real name is Benedetto, and allege that he and Caderousse met at a prison work colony years ago where they were both inmates. The Count can barely control his satisfaction as Danglars suffers ruinous humiliation, much like Fernand’s, in front of the entire gathered party of Parisian society. Needless to say, the marriage to Eugenie is no longer to take place. Andrea has disappeared, and the gendarmes go outside to look for him and bring him to prison.
Like Fernand, Danglars realizes there is nothing he can do. He has been ruined on the market, and now his reputation is in tatters. The Count has achieved the third of his four revenges at this point, although Danglars’s plot-threads will continue for some time, as Danglars attempts to flee his creditors and maintain some kind of name for himself in France. But the Count knows that in Parisian society, this kind of embarrassment is essentially a death sentence. There is nothing Danglars can do now to restore his good name in the community.
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
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