Study Guide

Spider-Man Point of View

Point of View

Two Storylines, Plus First-Person Narrative Bookends

Raise your hand if you thought Spider-Man was going to be narrated by Peter Parker.

We can see why you'd think that. Peter starts the film off with a chunk of narration that explains that his story, which we're about to see, is extraordinary and all about a girl. Then we get zero narration for the next 99 minutes or so, not until another block of voice-over narration from Pete at the very end of the film explains why he had to banish M.J. to the friend zone.

Aside from these spoken, first-person narrative bookends, Spider-Man's story unfolds in a straight-ahead manner. Our A plot focuses on the trials and tribulations of Peter Parker, recent spider-bite victim. Our B plot centers on deposed Oscorp founder Norman Osborn, who's suffering some nasty side effects from his company's performance enhancing drug. Eventually, Peter's and Norman's two stories begin crisscrossing as their superpowered alter egos clash time and time again.

From a storytelling standpoint, however, the convergence of the A and B plots feels more like the B plot comes crashing into the A plot on a stolen military-grade glider than a real narrative merger. Given the Green Goblin's penchant for party-crashing (see the World Unity Festival) and for making a dramatic entrance (see the Daily Bugle and Aunt May's bedroom), that seems fitting.

Given that the film is Spider-Man's origin story and it's called Spider-Man, it also seems appropriate that the main storyline belongs to Peter from beginning to end, narrated or not.

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