Study Guide

The Artist Identity

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Who am I? It's the classic question asked by pretty much every character in every work of fiction, ever. But there's another layer at play in a movie like The Artist, which is all about acting—in other words, pretending to be someone you're not.

Shakespeare said it with "all the world's a stage," drawing attention to the little one-act plays we stage throughout our days, whether we're feigning interest in a story Grandma's telling about Mildred's sister's uncle's cousin, or pretending not to be nervous on a first date.

In short, the characters in The Artist are always searching for themselves in the world around them and in the characters they play (both on and off-screen).

Questions About Identity

  1. How is Jack the Dog like an extension of George's identity?
  2. In what ways do George and Peppy perform their identities off-screen?
  3. How does the mirror or screen help illustrate questions of identity in The Artist?

Chew on This

In The Artist, George and Peppy's real-life identities begin to blur with their onscreen personas (or rather, you can read the story of their characters through the roles they play).

Peppy and George both learn to see themselves more clearly by looking at each other.

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