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The Spiderman Complex

            There are certain burdens that are inextricable from human life. These are burdens which all men face and endure, but they manifest themselves differently within the frames of each person's individual circumstances of life. The ways in which an individual's personality works with these unique circumstances will determine how burdens are handled and carried out by each individual. In this paper, I will use certain philosophical ideas of Nietzsche and Sartre to discuss the burdens of moral responsibility and suffering as they present themselves as the prevalent dichotomy of Peter Parker's young life. Parker, upon whom the role of Spiderman is thrust, must deal with this dichotomy of burdens as he struggles to come to terms with himself and his role in society.
             Peter Parker is introduced to the audience as a shy, bespectacled teenager who is ridiculed and misunderstood by his classmates for his social awkwardness and his love of science.1 On a school trip, he is bitten by a genetically altered spider and soon discovers that the spider's radioactivity has been transferred to his own DNA, thus transferring to him certain spider-like powers.2 These powers include the ability to climb walls, sharpened senses, extreme physical strength, and the ability to eject spider web from his wrists.3 Upon first exploration, these powers are a gift to Parker; they are a thrill where his life is normally a bore. .
             However, these powers take on a different role when Parker decides to use his newfound abilities to his advantage in a wrestling match.4 While attempting to collect prize money from a wrestling match, Parker is denied his fair share and in retaliation, does not attempt stop the robber who steals from the wrestling match conductor.5 This robber, however, makes his way into the public streets and shoots one man; this man happens to be Peter Parker's uncle.6 Thus, Parker unknowingly makes way for the robber who would murder Parker's father figure.

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