Study Guide

Crispin: Cross of Lead Identity

By Avi


Crispin's attempt to discover his true identity lies at the heart of his inner journey in Crispin: The Cross of Lead. He starts out as a nameless boy, but by the end he confidently claims the first name he shares with his absent father, Lord Furnival. Much of Crispin's task is to figure out who he is in relationship to his parents and without them. Still, his relationship to Lord Furnival drives much of the action, as it's this relationship that makes him Lady Furnival's enemy and leads to John Aycliffe's need to eliminate him as a threat to the inheritance he doesn't even want.

Questions About Identity

  1. What's in a name? Why do you think Asta named her son after the man who did her wrong?
  2. Why do you think Asta and Father Quinel concealed Crispin's real name from everyone else in Stromford, including Crispin himself?
  3. How does Crispin define himself at the beginning of the book? How about at the end?
  4. How does Crispin define his identity in relationship with other people?

Chew on This

Crispin is right to reject Lord Furnival and give up his claim to any inheritance.

Asta's naming her child Crispin and then refusing to use the name reflects her mixed feelings about Crispin's father.