Study Guide

Spider-Man Identity

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The first words Peter Parker utters in Spider-Man are "who am I?"

Good question.

We'll give it a shot: he's a high school senior about to enter the real world, which, let's be honest, is pretty terrifying. He's been in love with M.J. for more than a decade, and he's been keeping his true feelings about her on the DL for just as long.

Oh, and then there's the little matter of him being your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man. Every day is a crisis of character for Peter as he navigates what it means to be a man and what it means to be a hero while meticulously filing away specific parts of his personality and swinging around town wearing a mask that keeps his identity a mystery.

Questions About Identity

  1. How does Uncle Ben's death shape Peter's character?
  2. Give three examples of how Harry's family's wealth informs his identity.
  3. Why does Pete spend the whole film hiding his love for Mary Jane?
  4. Plenty of superheroes (and supervillains) have secret identities. Does being a teenager bump up the difficulty level for Peter?

Chew on This

Peter's exploration of his superpowers is complicated by his exploration of who he is as a young man.

As Spider-Man and the Green Goblin both demonstrate, our identities are shaped by our decisions—good, bad, and in between.

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