Women in The Count of Monte Cristo Essay

Women in The Count of Monte Cristo Essay

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Women in The Count of Monte Cristo possess unique personalities, but intensely similar restrictions. Currently, women in the United States, as well as other countries, are able to have jobs, travel, and participate in many other activities that the ladies Dumas portrays are not allowed to. Feminist analysis of this book reveals the ways of the time and the delicate balance of society’s typical structure. In The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas realistically conveys that when women violate their traditional roles, the balance of life is disrupted. This is evident through descriptions of instances in which females are in the home as well as when they are not.
When women are kept in their classical role of mother and caretaker, all is well and their lives are simple. Children relate positively to their mothers in this typical setting; while Dantés was in prison, during a time of distress, he remembered something his mother had done for him. For example, Dumas writes, “He remembered the prayers his mother had taught him and found meanings in them which he had formerly been unaware.” (41). Mothers teach their children to the best of their ability, evidenced in Dantés, as well as when Caderousse says Mercédès is instructing her son, Albert. It is in these moments that a mother’s love, compassion, and necessity are revealed. Lives are calm and enriched as long as women are in their niche. This includes non-maternal nurturing roles, for example, Mercédès attentiveness to Dantés father and Valentine’s special ability to care for Nortier. This loyalty is valued and shown as essential for the stability of life. Though The Count of Monte Cristo depicted women as best suited to the home, they intermittently stepped further out of that r...


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...ld not be radical. Women couldn’t step outside of their classic place without causing evils. When the ladies Dumas created broke the balance, there were consequences. This creates a harmful portrayal of women’s capabilities, because though Dumas wasn’t demeaning women, his honest depiction of them only shows females in the inferior light of their times. In The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas expresses that violation of their traditional roles leaves women and those around them in chaos and disruption.



Works Cited

Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo. Trans. Lowell Blair. New York: Bantam Dell, 1956. Print.
"Feminist Literary Criticism." Feminist Criticism. North Dakota State University, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Transchel, Kate. "The French Revolution and Women's Rights." History 1C- Modern World History. Kate Transchel, 2001. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.

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