In The Count of Monte Cristo, the transformed becomes the transformer. Edmond, irrevocably changed during his time in prison by forces outside of his control, learns to transform the world around him. Everything from his clothing to his personality to his name is changeable. Some of his transformations are comic – witness his ability to shift from one "character" to another effortlessly – while others are deadly serious. Oftentimes all it takes is a superficial adjustment, but when the situation calls for something more, the Count can rise to the occasion.
By the end of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond has spent so much time being other people that he is forced to stop and consider his true identity.
Only by losing himself in other identities can Edmond deal with the pain of his time in prison; having been transformed against his will, he must take control of his image in order to find himself.