“Moral wounds have this peculiarity – they may be hidden, but they never heal; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
I kept this classic waiting for three years . There in the bookstores , sometimes I approached it , I thumbed through , I read a few sentences and put it back . I was not ready , it wasn’t the right time .
As I said , a book , a great classic in particular , requires proper attention , the urgent desire by the reader to jump in its pages and not the need to say ” I read it , I was clever .”
It is not a competition to see who is smarter , there are no prizes for those who pretend to be intellectualist. A good book, like a fine wine , should be taken with the right timing , decanted , and tasted , only if it is right to the palate , you can drink it all in one breath or sip it to appreciate it better.
This is why I left this book on hold for three years . Then I lived a very special period in my life , tumultuous , unfair , in which I was tempted to make plans similar to the ones from Edmond Dantés to overcome it , and then I realized that the time was propitious : I could finally read “ The Count of Monte Cristo ” by Alexandre Dumas.
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, to be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
Dantes is a clever man , honest and loyal, who becomes pungent and vengeful after being framed for a crime he did not commit. When Dantés finds himself free and enormously wealthy , he takes it upon himself to act as an agent of Providence , rewarding those who helped him in this situation and punish those responsible for his years of agony . And to do that he takes different identities : the most famous , the Count of Monte Cristo , the mask he uses to accomplish his revenge ; Mr. Wilmore , the good version that deals with helping the less fortunate and the oppressed ; Abbe Busoni , a religious manipulative figure that Dantés uses with the most fragile minds .
“It’s necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.”
I have always been fascinated by novels in which the character’s identity is masked , perhaps because of my proximity to the theatre, I get passionate in understanding who and when and how someone will discover the trick .
In this particular case, the idea that the parties to interpret serve to get justice was the final push which made me closer to the novel . At the beginning of the story the enemies are presented very well : Danglars , Caderousse , Fernand , and Villefort , for various reasons , and any are coalesced to frame Dantès . And Dantès for their fault is forced to endure fourteen years of imprisonment in one of the scariest fortresses .
We are all on his side when he decides to take revenge .
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
Actually I soon found that in this fascinating story of vengeance and revenge there is much more , and that’s why it manages to straddle every generation and to resonate with every reader ( and viewers impressive given the number of adaptations in other media ) and every age and time period.
This novel is not about revenge, but forgiveness and growth. The difficulties that life make us to face and how we decide to deal with them, whether as a Monte Cristo , with coldness and calculation , or Mr. Wilmore , giving to others what we haven’t had . We are all a little the one a little the other , I believe that’s the reason why we like this story so much!
As I said , I started it at a time when I would have given everything in fire and flames . But the more I move forward with the book , the more I realized that Dantès was the only enemy of himself . Too many victims , too much collateral damage , in the right path of redemption . And if you become like a rival in what are you better than him ?
I have not suffered fourteen years in prison , or anything equally serious , God forbid , in his place I would have done even worse ! Anyone affected by something so atrocious who see the molesters benefit of that, should take example and manoeuvre a vengeance worthy of Monte Cristo ! But in my shoes , I decided to leave my need for revenge, or rather , I decided to follow a more difficult path from which I would have had more benefits : I choose to feel good .
The scars of that period are deep , I do not think they will never go away completely , unfortunately or fortunately . But just as Dantès , once I got rid of the weight of myself , I was free .
Now I read again, occasionally, the poetic description of this gruesome adventure with a new spirit , I savor the narrative passages more than the machinations of the characters , I admire the linguistic subtlety .
At first I thought to accompany Dantès in his revenge path, now I know that he escorted me in my journey towards peace .
“[U]ntil the day when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words,—‘Wait and hope.’”