The Count of Monte Cristo is a very sourceful book with characters creating different and new identities. Fernand changes to Count de Morcerf during the time of Dantes’ imprisonment, Mercedes changes to Countess de Morcerf after her marriage to Fernand, Cadderouse changes to M. Pilletin, Benedetto changes to Andrea Cavalcanti to disguise and murders Cadderouse, and last but certaintly not least Edmund Dantes with the various identity changes.
Even though these characters names are just being changed or in Dantes’ case, changing their names, this still means creating various identities. In every identity change, there is a different name or “alias” as some people call it, and with every name comes a different identity. Dantes had to create a different personality to go with each new character to keep himself disguised. Just like anyone else who may be popular, people feel the need to change their identities for many different reasons, some more commonly used than others.
People who change their identities may feel the need to change their identity, because it lets you be someone different, it’s unique, it defines who you really are or who you want to be, it allows you to hide or get away from yourself and others, and many other reasons. For these reasons or at least some of them, I feel that Dantes, the main character of this book creates a new identity so many times. The main reason I believe that he changed his identity so many times was to hide himself Edmund Dantes from the people he confronted.
As I stated before, Edmund Dantes created these different identities to hide from the other characters that he confronted in the book. He confronted many people whom he had confronted in the past. Appearing as Dantes would have probably caused more conflict between him and those characters. For example: I believe the first identity change came after he escaped from prison and found the treasure. Dantes had disguised himself into the priest Abbe Busconi. He had an encounter with Fernand earlier in the book (p. 88-89) and did not want him to recognize that he was Edmund Dantes, the man who was once engaged to Mercedes.
Therefore, I feel that he was hiding himself from Fernand as disguising himself as a priest at this time and could have believed that Fernand would confess to him about being involved with the conspiracy of getting Dantes locked up. Another case in which Dantes was hiding himself is when on page 102-103, when he was disguised as the English Rep. of Thompson and French. He came to pay a debt for Morrel, in which he owed someone back once again in the beginning of the book. Dantes worked for Morrel on the ship, and he came back as the English rep. to pay off his debt so that Morrel would not know who it really was.
Maybe Dantes at that time felt that revealing his identity would be threatening to the situation that he was involved in. After this point of being disguised as the English rep. came the new identity Sinbad the Sailor (p. 106). I believed Dantes just used that name to make the characters involved in this situation forget about the English rep. and to introduce the new new identity of the Count of Monte Cristo (p. 106). The Count of Monte Cristo is Dantes’ main character in this book. Dantes created various identities because these identities allowed him to be someone he was not.
Some of his identities had stronger personalities than others. The largest roles were the priest and Count of Monte Cristo allowed Dantes to have the “upper hand” in situations. Acting as a priest allowed him to receive the images of a priest. Being disguised as a priest allows Dantes to be treated with much more respect than he would get if he was Dantes. The Count of Monte Cristo was treated as with the most respect by all of the characters he came in contact with, like the priest. Everyone respected Monte Cristo. Why? The way he appeared to people reflected on how the way people treated him.
Creating these various identities, we see that Edmund Dantes felt that his true identity may have been a threat to the people he came in contact with throughout the book. He just felt the need to be someone different in every upcoming situation, and hide the new Edmund Dantes. Of course after all of this time, Dantes became someone completely different, from the time that he was locked away until the end of this book. By him creating all these different identities, they at some time became a part of the real Dantes, making him once again someone different.
By Dantes creating so many identities and revealing himself to people as a different person, this shows that the revenge against some of those characters were blocking Dantes’ real appearance, and they were not able to see that he was who he really was. When Dantes’ reveals his true identity, there was a lot of amazement. The thought of Dantes fooling these people and tricking them into believing that he was someone he really was not. This all was a good lesson for each of the characters who were seeking revenge on other characters. The lesson is: revenge may sound sweet, but be careful because it can blind you.