Things that used to pop up in my head when I thought of the word ‘friend’ were someone that shares common interests with you, someone that makes you smile, and someone who makes your day great. It was someone who you can spend all day with and never be bored for a second. Someone who enjoys your company and really understands you. Someone who has seen your good side and your bad side and accepts you for who you are. Someone who’s been there when you needed a shoulder to cry on or a tight embrace. Someone who you respect and care for.
I thought that was all friends were for. However, when I began reading the book, The Count of Monte Cristo, I’ve added another pretty big reason that why we all need friends. It’s a crucial, yet simple reason why we depend so much on our friends that I’m actually a bit shocked I haven’t noticed this earlier. Friends cure us from our loneliness. They keep us from feeling isolated from others; from feeling that no one else in this world knows who I am.
A couple chapters into this book, an old man named Abbe Faria meets with the young main character, Edmond Dantes, after attempting to dig a hole through the walls to escape the prison they’ve both been stuck in for countless years. On their first meeting, Dantes throws his arms around Faria in happiness, despite not knowing anything about the man. This shows Dantes’ eagerness to have company after being all alone in his own cell for so long. Although they’re generations apart, they’ve found friendship through the common goal of escaping. They worked together for over a year in order to achieve that goal, and through that time, they’ve gotten closer. But through this time, Faria’s aging comes with a horrible illness, which gives him intense, crazy attacks. It is because of this that Faria tells Dantes to leave him there and to escape and be free. He sincerely insists that Dantes should go on his own, being strong and young. Dantes completely refuses though, not having an ounce of desire to go without his fellow companion. This new devotion shows how strong their friendship has grown, and also how much they don’t want to be lonely again.
“‘You’re my son!’ cried the old man. ‘You’re the child of my captivity. My profession condemned me to celibacy, but God sent you to me to console both the man who could not be a father and the prisoner who could not be free.'” Before Dantes met Faria, being alone in his prison cell dragged him into a state of depression and misery, where he even thought of suicide. In fact, he was in the process of starving himself when he heard Faria through the walls. If it wasn’t for Faria, then our main character, Dantes, would probably have died already. It’s hard to think about, but although this is a fictional work, this does happen in real life. People sink into depression and lose all hope in life. All they really need is help from a friend. A comforting hand, someone to just by their side and help them live their life. A little time and effort are all it takes.
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