Sunday, January 18, 2015

an eye for an eye

One of my favorite books is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Full of deceit, revenge, love, fighting, jealousy, learning, and so much more, this book is hard to put down despite its intimidating size. I actually reread it this past summer, immersing myself into the pages. I love the way Faria takes in Edmond on the Chateau d’If, replacing Dántes’ beloved father. The way Edmond escapes and maneuvers himself into the lives of those who abandoned, set up, and ruined him in the first place. His deception is graceful and terribly satisfying to the reader.

At the end of the book, Dántes sails off into the sunset with his young Greek wife Haydée, completely satisfied with the work he did among those who had screwed him over, so to speak. The happiness that is portrayed in the end of Edmond’s story always was unsettling to me. I realized that this was because his happiness, and his peace, came from his revenge, not from a legitimate source of happiness that I would understand or that I had been taught. Being slightly familiar with the code of Hammurabi, I realized this was an old law that isn't a part of the gospel I know. I came to terms with the end of the book by focusing more on the good deeds the Count performed, even though this perspective did not exactly line up with my own gospel principles. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" no longer resonates with the gospel of Christ, and does not sit well with me either, and this book verified to me that that is not the way I ought to live.

Examples of spiritual-literary experiences:
- The poem I wrote to deal with the loss of my friend
- Being told bedtime stories by my mother when I was little
- Studying Shakespeare in my classes
- Teaching others anthropology as a teaching assistant at BYU through my own studies
- Writing any spoken word poems and being able to perform them
- Writing letters to missionaries
- Keeping a blog when on my own study abroad
- Reading Shel Silverstein poetry books and More Silver Pennies


  1. It is interesting to see how the film adaptation and the book differ so drastically. I bring this up because the unsettling feeling you received (and I think everyone feels) upon reading the end of the book is diminished when the movie gives him a slight redemptive moment and Mercedes goes with him. The power in this novel is the manipulating and molding power revenge has upon the soul. It will mangle us, and the book shows this.

  2. I saw something simple in your blog post. Writing missionaries. I have had many brothers go on mission as well as friends. I never really thought about how writing a missionary could be a type of writing that can inspire us without the spiritual side but it totally is.

    On the book you chose.... I LOVE this book! This is full of lessons and moral truths. I think you did really well explaining how it has influenced you and your life. Thanks for the insight!