Dec 29, 2009
So, have you, or someone you know ever been wronged and you feel so bitter about it that you want to retaliate? Have you ever wanted someone to feel the pain they made you feel? Have you ever declared out loud, or in your head that you want to get back at someone? I really had never thought much about revenge until two days ago when I finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. I had some notion in my head that revenge was something that happened a long time ago and that people did not really do the revenge thing so much anymore. I mean it takes a lot of time, effort and patience to plot out revenge. I don't think most people want to go to that much work anymore.
Have you ever read the Count of Monte Cristo? I had never even heard of it until a few months ago. Because of the holidays happening it took me longer than I wanted it to to read it. About half way through I had to stop, take a break and write out a character list for myself, draw lines to show how they were all connected and then write the words "good" and "bad"after each persons name so I could keep it all straight. The characters change names, have kids, and earn titles as their lives go on so it is hard to keep track of everyone.
Edmund Dantes AKA The Count of Monte Cristo is the main character and I am struggling with what I think of him. After being imprisoned, wrongly for 14 years he plans out the most beautiful revenge I have ever seen. He does it so calmly. He does it so impeccably that I really honestly was lulled into thinking revenge was an okay business to be in. After reading about this wrongful imprisonment, how he escapes, discovers his father is dead, and how his dearest love has married one of the men who got him put into prison, I was very content to read about how he ruins lives and benefits lives according to how those particular people had treated him. I never once thought it was wrong in anyway for him to systematically ruin the lives of the men who had lied and plotted to get him wrongly imprisoned....they totally deserved it.
I think I told you it has been two days since I have finished the book. In those two days some friends brought me the movie made about the book, I have checked out numerous book reviews, and I have read a ton on the internet about revenge. I frankly wish I could go back to that very moment, two days ago, when I was sitting in my bed, with my bedside lamp on, my favorite white stocking hat on my head, my cozy comforter around me and remember what I thought when I closed the back cover to the book and closed my eyes to assimilate what I had read, because all the information gathering has made me have questions and changed my opinions and frankly muddled everything that seemed so clear.
I do clearly remember thinking that I needed Edmond to end up with his first love Mercades and I still do not know if I understand why he isn't with her. I think he expected her to stay faithful to him forever and ever even though she never knew for almost 20 years where he was or if he was even alive. She ends up declaring in the end that the bad men who acted out of greed and selfishness were not near as bad as she was because she acted out of lack of courage. And then after declaring this she and Edmond both walk a way from each other. I still keep expecting to pick up the book and discover I read it wrong and they are together. They need to be.
Revenge is a pretty intense business. Most of us do not have the money and power to exact it the way Edmond Dantes does. And after reading all about revenge I realized it really is not so good. I tried to imagine what Edmond's life would have been like if he had not wanted revenge. What about revenge in Star Wars? What about revenge in Transformers? What about Daniel Craig in the latest James Bond movie and revenge? I hated how that whole movie was about getting even....boring. I wanted to see him find something new.
So all that said I have to say I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexander Dumas is an amazing storyteller and revenge has never been so interesting. I was extremely bummed when I sat down to watch the movie made about The Count of Monte Cristo and discovered they had, honestly, changed just about everything about the story. I, sadly, had to stop watching it. And I just may have to plot revenge against the people who wrote the script for it :)