Chapter 71:Danglars spends several days in the catacomb jail, bargaining with the guards for food. Eventually he pays them five million francs in exchange for food and drink.
Soon Monte Cristo confronts Danglars in jail, revealing his true identity. Dantes lets him go with 50,000 francs, citing the fact that he forgives Danglars because God might forgive the count. In this way, Dantes, too, feels that he must make reparations for the terrible punishments he has unleashed on his enemies.
The count meets Maximilien on the island of Monte Cristo, revealing Valentine to him for the first time since her “death.” The count justifies his actions, saying, “I regard this restitution as a weight thrown into the scale to balance the evil I have done.”
Both lovers are elated after their reunion but surprised when the count tells them that he plans to leave their world. Yet Monte Cristo changes his mind when he realizes how much Haydee loves him. Dantes describes his feelings, saying, “I wanted to punish myself, but God wishes to forgive me.”
Two paragraphs in this chapter sum up the theme of the novel:”Tell the angel who will watch over your life to pray now and then for a man who, like Satan, believed himself for an instant to be equal to God, but who realized in all humility that supreme power and wisdom are in the hands of God alone.”-Dantes
“There is neither happiness nor unhappiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. Only a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. It is necessary to have wished for death, Maximilien, in order to know how good life is to live.”-Dantes