What is it about escape stories that attract us to stories like the Count of Monte Cristo? What is it about the human experience that we can relate to in these stories?
There is, of course, that underlying sense of justice, of rooting for the underdog, of turning the tables on the oppressive forces that govern our actions. Even deeper though, I think there is a strong desire to acknowledge that if we ourselves are bold enough, we can change our own fate, but not without risking failure or even death.
“At this moment, Dantès felt himself being thrown into a huge void, flying through the air like a wounded bird, then falling, falling, in a terrifying descent that froze his heart.”
Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
Oh to free-fall into the unknown, to feel the thrill of fresh air on our skin, pale from the shadows of paralysis, and to crash into the torrent of open waters, facing either the storm and death of failure or the decadence and freedom of life.
The alternative? To continue life in the dungeons of mediocrity, with ourselves to keep us company, as we mark away the days pointlessly on the dark, damp walls, maddened by repetition and loneliness?
Is it time to let ourselves be tossed into the water and prepare for the fight of our lives? What treasures await the one who risks it all to escape the prisons that enslave her?