Childhood Adversities

When I think of the word “childhood”, I think of the most crucial time of my life. For most people, it is the period of life where we learn the most and are highly influenced by the people around us. Our experiences and environment, during childhood, mold our future. I thought it would be interesting to draw a comparison between the American Girl book “Meet Kirsten” and the popular science fiction show Stranger Things. At its core, the narrative of both of these stories focuses on children who faced great adversities at a young age and how their childhood experiences transformed them as individuals. Essentially, the story of Stranger Things is about a group of kids whose lives took a turn when they faced adversity, throughout its multiple seasons, you can observe that their outlook towards their life had changed and had been molded by their childhood experiences. Similarly, the story of “Meet Kirsten” is about a young girl who faced her own sets of challenges. She struggled to make friends and communicate with others and even got lost in an unknown country. Interestingly, both these stories also revolve around the characters losing their friend and coping up with the loss. For all these characters childhood is symbolized as a turning point, wherein both the stories, the characters, in the end, are shown displaying a sense of strength. Kirsten, after overcoming her hardships, made America her home and the kids in Stranger Things were ready to face monsters for seasons to come. Even though these stories are based in completely different genres, one is a science fiction mystery with ugly monsters while the other is a story of an immigrant family and their journey to a new country,  both had the same story arc of children facing adversities and overcoming them to become improved versions of themselves, molded by their childhood experiences.  

2 thoughts on “Childhood Adversities”

  1. Yatin,

    I love Stranger Things. Another parallel I see between the show and Kirsten’s stories is the way differences are overlooked when it comes to making friendships. For example, in Stranger Things, Eleven is an outcast because of her telekinetic powers and social awkwardness. However, the Hawkins boys eventually accept her into their group despite these differences. Similarly, in “Kirsten Learns a Lesson”, she becomes friends with Singing Bird even though they come from different cultures and can’t communicate traditionally.

  2. I think it’s really interesting how similar childhood experiences can be portrayed in such different ways. There is no doubt that “Meet Kirsten” and Stranger Things are two completely different stories, but they both handle the pain and growth of loss for children. I think it is very beneficial for children to see all of these different experiences portrayed because everyone has their own hardships in their life, and diversity in how these hardships are shown in media can help children connect to the experience that most closely relates to their own.

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