Examine his character at the beginning of the novel, consider the forces that affect his change, and explain what he is like at the end.
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As a young man, Dantes is naive, innocent, and full of forgiveness. When we see his transformation into the Count, a man appears..... full of vengeance, all grown up and bitter. He walks through life with his eyes wide open.
His persona of Abbé Busoni helps him to gain the trust of those he wishes to punish (and some of the people he loves), but the mask of priesthood also allows him to manipulate those around him. Lord Wilmore is the man I think Dante would have become had he never gone to prison..... all goodness and generosity.... thus, the reason the Count didn't like him. Must have been hard for him to allow the mask to slip..... hard to see what he could have been.
The Count of Monte Cristo
At the end of the novel, we see Dantes come full circle. He is through with thoughts of revenge, deals with his sorrow over lost love, falls in love again, and even helps Maximillien and Valentine. He disappears..... time to be himself again.