Study Guide

I Am the Messenger Identity

By Markus Zusak

Identity

Can we see some ID? The crisis of identity is at the core of I Am the Messenger. As the main character learns from a series of cards and assignments, he sees his own identity changing. Ed knows he's done nothing of value with his life, and his mom takes every chance she gets to remind him of that fact—but by caring about the people on the cards, Ed tries to become somebody who matters. We're all for finding yourself, but we're not sure if Ed really does that if he's just following someone else's trail.

Questions About Identity

  1. Can Ed hold on to his new identity, even after the cards stop coming his way? Does he know who he is without the messages?
  2. Why does Ed tell us that he's done nothing with his life? Do you think that bothers him? Why doesn't he try to do something important by himself?
  3. How do others perceive Ed? Does his mom's perception of him affect the way he acts? Does Audrey's?
  4. Why does the mystery man care if Ed is ordinary or not? What does this tell us about the rest of humanity?

Chew on This

Ed finds out who he really is by helping others. In the end, he's a changed guy because he delivers the messages.

Ed will go right back to his card-play, cab-driving ways once the messages are done.

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