Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land Identity Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"Smith is an intelligent creature with the ancestry of a man, but he is more Martian than man. Until we came along he had never laid eyes on a man. He thinks like a Martian, feels like a Martian […] He's a man by ancestry, a Martian by environment." (3.15)
Mike identifies himself as a Martian because he was raised on Mars. Basing identity on place of origin is hugely important to many characters in the novel—like Kansas Duke. How about you? What do you base your identity on? Other than being a Shmooper, of course.
"Well, if it ain't 'Dimples!' [Jill] Hi, honey, what brings you here?" (4.3)
Jill's nicknames start out cutesy like 'Dimples' and evolve to stuff like 'little brother' (not quite as cutesy). By the time she's the high priestess, her nicknames are associated with gods. If you like where this conversation is headed, check out the Names section of "Character Clues" for further discussion.
"I do not know," Smith answered slowly. "How does woman look? What makes you woman?" (4.40)
Mike stumbles on a great conundrum of identity. What makes a woman a woman and, likewise, a man a man? Is it social roles, biology, a choice of sexuality? Take your pick.