The Count of Monte Cristo The Count of Monte Cristo discussion


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Is the book racist and sexist?

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message 1: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob I have seen it described as both.


Stan If you are asking from a 2018 USA perspective, I'm pretty sure someone can find something to condemn the book for.

I read it earlier this year and nothing struck me as memorable in either of these areas. There may be something that I am not remembering though.


message 3: by Feliks (new)

Feliks Dismiss the question. It's something only a moron would even ask.


Laura I read it end of last year and found nothing offensive. Remember books are not written with many years in the future in mind, they are a reflection of the time. Just enjoy books for what they are. I am reading sherlock holmes at the moment and flinch every time I see the word "negro", but it doesn't make the book racist, the word was used then and isn't now seen as good taste.


Mike Feliks wrote: "Dismiss the question. It's something only a moron would even ask."
A bit crude perhaps - but true!!


Mike Ann Laura, agree. Your last comment is all too true. People can't laugh at themselves anymore


Mary C. Of course it is. Humans are racist and sexist so it stands to reason good literature is also.


Stan Mary wrote: "Of course it is. Humans are racist and sexist so it stands to reason good literature is also."

Lol! Stated like a true human being!


Christopher Stilley true,today we are sexist and racist..and hypocrites since we seem to believe that we are far advanced now..But Dumas is very fair and writes lovely characters,men and women equally challenging...I find his women magnificent..charm to spare on every side...It is interesting to see how Dumas will treat people of color since he himself is part black...Porthos in the 3 Musketeers is based on a real black Musketeer...


ForestRage ForestRage If as a reader, any book that portrays a hint of racism affects or turns you off, then the majority of classics will fall short. History and the present time of a writer plays an important part in description. We are all influenced by them. Take for instance a simple fantasy novel; if I Write that the men walked on six legs and considered those who had two inferior, what would you think?
I think the classics open a part of history hidden from us, one that as a people we need to learn from. No matter the country, a story will tend to favor the citizens-how else would a poor writer sell his books?


message 11: by Katie (last edited Dec 28, 2018 05:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Katie O'Bryan "Alexandre Dumas was born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie on July 24, 1802, in Villers-Cotterêts, France, to Marie Louise Labouret and General Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie. The Dumas family name was adopted from Alexandre's grandmother, an enslaved Haitian woman named Marie-Césette Dumas. His grandfather was the Marquis Alexandre Antoine Davy de La Pailleterie. Thomas-Alexandre took the name Dumas when he enlisted in Napoleon's army, where he acquired the dubious nickname "Black Devil."" - BIOGRAPHY.COM


Drush76 Does this explain why so many cinematic and television versions of the novel either erases Haydee or ensure that the Count never ends up with her?


message 13: by M (new) - rated it 3 stars

M I think this is a fair question. As a modern reader, you may want to limit your exposure to stories that don't support your aspirational world view. There are many excellent writers alive and working today. But I also agree with the previous posters that that may eliminate many classics from your reading list.


message 14: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike Fantry In a word, no it is neither. The attitudes toward women and some ethnic groups are not so much offensive as they are accurate for the time the story was written. Today they would be seen as un PC for sure but I didnt find anything in The Count of Monte Cristo offensive. Consider the book was first published in 1844 and Ian Fleming's first 007 novel, Casino Royale in 1954 and is infinitely more sexist than Dumas more than 100 years later. Thats the issue.


Cerasela Well , I read it at 14 and nothing seemed off to me.


Junaid Ahmed How can you ask such a question about a novel? A writer expresses his/ her thoughts & emotions by his writing and no one has the right to question it. It is a very fundamental right of every human being. If we build the walls of racism, sexism, feminism & so on around a person then it is impossible for him/her to narrate an untold story which is only in his/her mind. Literature is beyond all such limits and we have to respect it.


Junaid Ahmed This is not a question to be asked. A novel is a reflection of society. With interrupts in it, a writer is unable to depict his/her idea. If you observe racism, yes it is. If you read sexism or anything, it is society and it is the truth, you accept it or not.


Nicholas O Junaid wrote: "How can you ask such a question about a novel? A writer expresses his/ her thoughts & emotions by his writing and no one has the right to question it. It is a very fundamental right of every human ..."

Though, in this case, the original question is not correct, I wouldn't go so far as to say we don't have a right to question a piece of work! That is how we separate the good from the bad, the ugly from the beautiful, and create understanding in all art forms; critique. Humans have an obligation to examine what people create and present to them, otherwise all trash would be blithely accepted. Literature is definitely not beyond critical thinking.


message 19: by Luke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Luke Soto if you are asking then you may already may have a skewed opinion of the book already.

I would say that the book is not sexist or racist at all if you can enjoy the story you would see it is more about a man who was wrongfully acuossed of a crime he didn't commit.

This is a story about revenge, adventure, passion, a love lost, its is about political power and a life that had a second chance but will the main character take it or be consumed by his hatred for the ones who took his life from him. read and find out.

I hope you see this as a story where man and woman play a pivitol role. To be so debase as to cast characters as these into roles of sexist or racist is to miss out on the full realm of adventure that dumas wishes to take the reader.


message 20: by Natasha (last edited Mar 21, 2020 05:40PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Natasha It's a beautiful book, but I see how one can find it offensive. You'll have to put in in it's time and know the writing style of the amazing writer Alexander Dumas. I also read his novel "les trois mousquetaires'' or ''the three musketeers'' in english. I loved it, but some people would call it a typical book for men, because of the fight scenes, the characters (how their thoughts are described) and of course the classic damsel in distress. Women indeed play a minor rol in his books, but that doesn't make them sexist or bad in any way.


message 21: by Luke (last edited Mar 22, 2020 06:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Luke Soto Natasha wrote: "It's a beautiful book, but I see how one can find it offensive. You'll have to put in in it's time and know the writing style of the amazing writer Alexander Dumas. I also read his novel "les trois..."

Why thank you, that i can now see. and my wasn't that story of the 3 musketeers just as good. well thank you for helping me to understand this point of view. and i do hope that you enjoy further works by such writers.

may i suggest Stevenson's prince Otto or kidnapped
or Robinson Crusoe i forgot who wrote that one but still great adventure. the the deer slayer novels written i believe by Defoe are another great story.


Natasha Luke wrote: "Natasha wrote: "It's a beautiful book, but I see how one can find it offensive. You'll have to put in in it's time and know the writing style of the amazing writer Alexander Dumas. I also read his ..."

Thank you so much, I'll write them down! thank you for your suggestions!


Antonio C. Montecristo Could you please elaborate your premises to get the conclusions above? This book is my fav book!


message 24: by Candace (last edited Jul 09, 2020 01:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Candace This is one of my all time favorite books. Alexandre Dumas was a French writer of partial Afro-Haitian descent. He wrote of many peoples and cultures living in his time through the eyes of his culture. His purpose in writing the tale was to bring the reader on the journey that one man took on a path from vengeance to forgiveness... There's nothing in it that could reasonably be called racist. As for it being sexist: some of the strongest characters in the book are women.


message 25: by Rick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rick Shepard Very tired of this question. This is my favorite book. Instead of looking for issues, maybe you should read it.


message 26: by Martha (last edited Jul 13, 2020 09:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Martha Spurlock You introduce anachronism by condemning according to terms unknown at the time of the writing. If you think misogynistic--a word the author would have recognized--you would be merely incorrect. If you say racist--a term the author would not have used--again anachronism and ironic, since Dumas was rumored to be of Algerian descent. What a facile way to approach great literature. I do not understand being offended by literature in the first place. It is pointless.


Kelly I really don't care if it is or not but I don't believe it is. This cancel culture 'stuff' is ..'stuff'.

It has been my favorite book since I read it when I was in jr high. I'm retired now..so that's a fair bit of time.

The movies suck! The book, it's amazing.


Mon67 I am not even considering wether this is an appropriate or inappropriate question. I simply answer that the book is neither. It's a story of revenge, and the characters are all described without racial or sexist comments.
Nevertheless the question is inappropriate


Mon67 Rob wrote: "I have seen it described as both."
Where?


Gilliatt Carvalho Drush76 wrote: "Does this explain why so many cinematic and television versions of the novel either erases Haydee or ensure that the Count never ends up with her?"

Most of the adaptations the final one is Edmond and Haydee.
There are 10 finals with Edmond and Haydee.
Value is worth it for the director of the Soviet version to have kept the ending, because he married the actress who played Haydee.
He divorced his other wife to marry the actress who played haydee.
Only hollywood to come up with the idiot that the love between Edmond and Mercedes did not die when he would meet other women and forget about her.
Hollywood infantilizes storys.


message 31: by Bear (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bear If that is your big concern with a classic piece of literature, stop reading. You don't get it anyway. Go watch youtube or tiktok.


Fiona No.


Katarzyna Please note that this book was published in 1844–45.
Unfortunately, at that time the racisms and sexist was widely accepted socially. I was a norm back then. I am in the middle of the book. If you are sensitive to these topic, perhaps you will prefer to skip it. However, I believe we should not avoid these topics. It is an educational experience and a reminder that we should never allow this to become a norm again.

Example: Count compares his slave Ali to a dog and risks his life with easy claiming that he saved it so it is his now.


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