Describe a character in fiction, a historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence.

The external reflections of my admiration are subtle. A red and blue toothbrush, its handle laced with white plastic webbing, stands among bottles of makeup remover by my sink. A boyish PVC and polyester wallet depicting an agile hero as he swings through the city holds a few wrinkled dollar bills and frozen yogurt stamp cards. While my bedroom walls are plastered with professional soccer players, favorite bands and actors, there is but a single image that I reflect upon most. Flanked by David Beckham and Hayden Christiansen, my true inspiration is the web-slinger himself, Spiderman. After witnessing the death of his Uncle Ben, Peter Parker developed a mantra that “With great power comes great responsibility.” He becomes so burdened with doing the right thing that he sacrifices his physical and emotional well being for the ones he loves. Peter, with all his powers, is not invincible. He is just like the rest of us. His bones break, his skin is easily pierced, he gets tired, and he faces daunting obstacles everyday. In spite of vulnerability, he uses his abilities to bridge the gap between the suffering and their salvation, to help the helpless. In my eyes, he is the true embodiment of a hero. While I am mostly accustomed to the incessant bickering of my parents, my younger sister is not. As the argument’s intensity increases downstairs, she bursts into my room, eyes welling, a look of distress on her face. I close my eyes to fight back the tears, wanting to remain strong for her. I see a masked hero diving off the edge of a building, plummeting through the night air in a familiar nose-dive to save Mary Jane, acting as the ultimate savior, giving me strength to do the same for my sister. I pull her close in a quick embrace before whisking her out the door with me, saving us both from the ever-present instability we face at home. I have always seen Spiderman as a sort of martyr. He endures mental and physical suffering for the good and well being of complete strangers, and continues in the face of being misunderstood and even hated. Not only does he posses supernatural skill, but also uncommon strength of character. His absolute selflessness inspires me to believe that one can overcome things seemingly larger than oneself. The poster now hangs above my desk, where I spend much of my time at home. A pensive hero perches atop the broadcasting antenna of the Empire State building, and gazes down at the bustling streets of New York City below. Printed in silver script above him are Aunt May’s words to Peter, that “There’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride.” This idea has resonated within me to such an extent, that it has become a source of strength and comfort in turbulent times. I may not have spider-senses or super-speed, but I do have the courage and audacity to face my obstacles and adversaries with the unbridled confidence of my friendly neighborhood Spiderman.

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