I have recently finished an incredibly written book called “The Three Musketeers,” by a once popular writer named Alexandre Dumas. Alexandre Dumas is not only the author of this 568 page novel, but he was a household name in France for writing many other plays and novels including “The Count of Monte Cristo,” which is considered a classic as well. Interestingly enough, Alexandre Dumas, who died in 1870, is buried next to famous French authors-Victor Hugo and Jean-Jacques Rousseau being among them. Furthermore, since 1900, “The Three Musketeers,” has been made into either a movie or a television show at least once in each decade. To continue, I chose this book through a recommendation by my father, who inspired me to read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” another very, very good book. I had seen a movie on the book too, although the movie would nearly be a different book, if it were to be made into a book. Upon opening and reading the first chapter, (for there was no front or back flap to read), I felt wonder at what the character must feel at just leaving his home and, in all likelihood, never come back. I felt a connection to that because I will in four years be leaving home as well, (but I will come back home). I believe this book is both historical fiction and adventure, historical fictions because it is staged in the 1600’s. It is adventure because of the mission d’Artagnan undertakes.
In the novel, “The Three Musketeers,” a courageous and determined man, or boy rather considering he is only 19, leaves his home, in France, to become a musketeer in Paris. This man named d’Artagnan, (I believe this is his last name), wants to achieve a high position in the musketeers where he can begin to collect his fortune. D’Artagnan is prevented at becoming a musketeer because a mysterious man steals his letter of recommendation, which was necessary for him to become a musketeer without first serving in the regular French army. D’Artagnan continues his travels to Paris where he meets three men, who will soon become his best of friends, named Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. Together these four friends try to survive fights of honor, wars, and just plain starvation throughout the book. In all, the book is mostly about d’Artagnan’s journey to become a musketeer.
I was surprised when d’Artagnan’s letter was stolen by who d’Artagnan calls the Man of Meung, for his letter was stolen by a man in Meung. Although the honor of d’Artagnan forced him to fight this mysterious character, which was what men did back then, it was completely odd for this obviously cruel man to take away a letter which so greatly affected d’Artagnan’s life. I came to wonder, Is this man going to be apart of this book? The answer to this question is a resounding yes, for d’Artagnan tries to hunt this man down throughout the book. I believe the author did this to show the honorable traits of d’Artagnan and the deceitful traits of the Man of Meung.
I like how the author decided to have a man steal the letter of recommendation from d’Artagnan because the novel began with the main character getting everthing he could possibly need to become a musketeer, but this theft created a conflict. What was d’Artagnan supposed to do to prove who he was and what family he came from? This is important because in the 1600’s if a man’s family was considered high up in society then it was much easier to get a job. This aforementioned conflict “jump-started” the novel and created one of many obstacles the d’Artagnan was to face.
I don’t get why the author ended the book as he did. The ending was overall unsatisfying for the reader. I felt that d’Artagnan deserved a happy ending after the extreme hardships he had endured. The Epilogue essentially says that the strong friendship of the three musketeers and d’Artagnan evaporated shortly after the problems of the novel were resolved. I believe the author could have changed the ending, so that the friendship was everlasting, but I do understand that realistically the ending is what would most likely would have happened. Personally, I think that a happy ending is usually the way to go with endings.
Finally, I was interested in this passage when the d’Artagnan realizes his recommendation letter has been stolen.
“Yes, where is this letter?” roared d’Artagnan. “and let me tell you that this letter is for M. de Treville, and that it must be found, otherwise M. de Treville will know to have it found-I’ll answer for it!”
This threat completely frightened mine host. Next to the king and the cardinal, M. de Trevill was the man whose name was most frequently in the mouths of the military and indeed of the citizens. There was, certainly, Father Joseph; but his name was never mentioned except in an undertone; so great was the terror of his grey eminence, as the familiar cardinal was called, inspired.
“Did this letter contain anything valuable?” said he after some moments of fruitless search.
“I should rather think it did,” cried the Gascon [place where d’Artagnan was born], who calculated on the letter to make his way at court. “it contained my fortune.”(pg.24)
I love how Alexandre Dumas shows the determination and hopefulness d’Artagnan shows there and throughout the book. The main character showed determination in his attempts to search for his letter and hopefulness demonstrated through the fact that d’Artagnan hoped the letter would lead him to riches. I believe that Alexandre Dumas is definitely deserves the title of a classics writer. I would rate this book a nine out of ten for the complexity of the plot. I hop you read this book as well.