How is everyone doing with The Count of Monte Cristo? Which version have you decided to tackle? Have you forgiven me yet for putting it on the poll in the first place? (I really thought you all would pick Frankenstein or The Age of Innocence.) As of the time of posting, we all have 12 more days to get as much read as possible about Edmond Dantès, his confinement to the grim fortress of If, the great treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo, and his plot to destroy of the three men responsible for his incarceration, before our discussion.
Below I’ve gathered a few possible discussion topics for our December 1st chat, if you have more ideas for topics of discussion, please just leave them below in the comments.
Like our other Book Club Reads, I will be moderating discussion here on the mothership and also over at our Facebook group page, the Cannonball Read Book Chat, throughout the day on the 1st (starting at around noon in the Eastern part of the U.S.)
No matter how much, or how little, of the book you are able to complete by our December 1st discussion date, please meet us back here and over on Facebook to talk about the work, its themes, its author, and what is lost or gained in abridging or adapting for another media.
On to the topics:
- How is “family” an important concept in The Count of Monte Cristo?
- How did you feel about the pacing – is it quick or slow? Does it remain steady throughout the book or change? Does it fit the scope and style of the book? Do any sections drag, or are any rushed?
- Is this your first book which was initially serialized? Was it noticeable to you?
- Is Dantès’ quest for vengeance morally just? Can vengeance ever stand in for justice?
- Discuss Villefort’s decision to imprison Dantès. What are the moral and ethical implications of his decision to imprison Dantès?
- Let’s talk about Dantès’ profound alienation when he escapes from prison and his gradual movement back to humanity. How does he regain his humanity?
- How is the Count at the end of the novel similar or different from Edmond Dantès at the beginning of the novel?
- Valentine de Villefort loves her family, especially her grandfather, and Maximilian Morrel; she would do anything for them. Should we applaud her behavior? How does her behavior compare to that of Eugénie Danglars’? How are these two women different or similar?
- Your mission is to create a new film version of The Count of Monte Cristo. However, the film has to be no longer than two hours. What would you cut out of the story and what would you keep in order to tell your version of The Count? (or, what did the movie version you’ve seen get right?)
Okay everybody, I look forward to seeing you in our Discussion Post on December 1!