Monday, March 10, 2014

Self Projections All Over

While I have been researching The Count of Monte Cristo, I have been troubled by making a connection to Lewis Carroll. However, today as I was sitting in the library reading a book referenced by Annalee Norton, I found something awesome! I found out that Alexandre Dumas' character, Edmond Dantes, is very much a reflection of Dumas himself. Many of the sentiments and even direct phrases quoted by "The Count" are reflected in Dumas' memoirs of his father, General Alex Dumas. These connections were inspiring to me because in my very last analysis paper on Carroll, I evaluated Alice as a projection of Charles Dodgson, rather than Alice Liddell, as is commonly believed. 

Therefore, here is my working thesis:

Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo is a complex novel about one Edmond Dantes, who after being unjustly imprisoned, breaks free and enacts revenge on those who were responsible for his imprisonment. Historical, biographical, and textual evidence indicate that Dantes is a reflection of Dumas himself, with similar characteristics and sentiments that are reflected in Dumas' memoir of his father. In essence, Edmond Dantes is a self-projection of his own creator. 


  1. Awesome! I love getting epiphanies like this! I have never heard about Alice being a projection of Carroll, but I do remember reading, in the Norton Critical Edition, that some believe the knight in the chapter, "It's My Own Invention" in Through the Looking Glass, is! Perhaps Carroll put himself into more than one character. It might be irrelevant for your purposes, since you are looking at his characteristics in Alice, but it might be worth looking into.

  2. It's great that your prior writing can help you formulate a parallel thesis statement. Biographical approaches are always interesting. How do you think, though, that having that view affects readers' understanding or experience of the story? I'd like to see your paper show the stakes that are involved here. Is this biographical parallel just a curiosity, or does it make a difference?

    1. I think that right now this is mostly curisity, and I want to explore the idea. I was thinking of exploring the idea particularly with religion and politics. I wonder if Dumas' religious and political ideals (or even those of his father) are evident in the story. If so, I think the stakes that would be set would be the argument that perhaps the novel was a political statement geared towards the government rather than the general public, or even perhaps with the intent of persuasion, rathe than simply a fictional novel geared towards entertainment,