The Count of Monte Cristo is a dramatic portrayal of human imperfection. And, the deepest flaws are most evident in the main character whose initial innocence is the most pure. What an interesting dichotemy between Edmond, whose flaws are self-imposed and illusioned, and all of his enemies, whose flaws are simplistic.
As I read the book, my sympathy went out to various characters as the story progressed. in the first third of the book,Edmond's dire circumstances were of utmost concern, and it was easy for me, in my sympathy, to assume that his good nature would overcome the few tendancies he displayed to be vengeful and frankly, mistaken. As the book progressed and he indulged his vengeful side rather than his optimistic side, my heart went out instead to the many peripheral characters who were affected by his revevnge.
The author's ability to draw in these peripheral characters is one of the most accurate and insightful aspects of the book I think. As in life, we can see only so many consequencecs of our actions. It's true that more intelligent people can sometimes anticipate a second or even third layer of effects that they may have upon their ocmmunities. But, no one except God can know all of the ripplies that extend from every person--and how those ripples will interact with the waves of other's actions. I was so glad to see the way things were ended.
This drama is highly recommended for all ages. The author careful incorporates some very adult themes, in ways that only an adult would recognize. I admire the author's way of bringing real-life circumstances into play.
By the way, it's difficult to find the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo on shelves, but if you can find it, it's immensely more beautiful than the abridged. The abridged veresion leaves out entire characters, leaves out additional identities, and only skims the surface of the author's insights.
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