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Family Matters: A Stranger Things Analysis

The hit Netflix series, Stranger Things released their second season on Halloween weekend 2017. It answered a lot of the questions the first season left behind. One of my favorite parts of the show is the fact that the kids in Stranger Things have different family dynamics. The families in the show that makes the show relatable to different viewers. If you’ve haven’t watched the first and second season of the show, do not read this article; there are many spoilers ahead.

The Wheelers (Mike and Nancy Wheeler)

Mike and Nancy Wheelers’ parents are very ignorant and gullible about where their children are at all times. For example in the first season when their mother, Karen tells her children that she could be trusted, Mike hid Eleven in the basement. Nancy let Jonathan Byers stay the night without her parents knowing. The sibling dynamic between Mike and Nancy becomes closer while the show progresses. Mike knew that Nancy could be trusted after she hunts the monster with Jonathan and Steve.

Ted and Karen Wheeler do not have the ideal marriage because it is very loveless and none of them show appreciation for each other. In the second season, there is a scene where Karen is taking a bath while having a glass of wine reading an erotic novel. A knock on the door is heard. She requests Ted to get the door but, there was no response. Karen sees Billy who is looking for his sister, Max. She is swept off her feet by his appearance.

The Buyers (Will and Jonathan Buyers)Photo from Stranger Things Wikia

Joyce Buyers is a single mother of two who is very close to her children. Unlike the Wheelers, Will and Jonathan can trust their mother in whatever they can without having to think about the consequences. Such as taking a Demogorgon spirit out of Will’s body is an obvious sign of trust. Will and Jonathan’s father does not want anything to do with all three of their lives.

Will and Jonathan also have a close relationship throughout the series, especially when Will disappears in the first season. They are the first to contact him through the Upside Down.

The Sinclairs (Lucas Sinclair)

The Sinclairs break the black family stereotype that is common on TV by having a mom and a dad who live a normal suburban life. The audience finally meets Lucas’ family in the second season. It’s revealed he has a younger sister named Erica. They have a relationship where they do annoy each other. For example, Erica is shown playing with Lucas’ He-Man figure. In which she probably stole from him. It’s clear that Lucas trusts his parents when he asks his father for girl advice.  

The Hendersons (Dustin Henderson)

Dustin Henderson is an only child who lives with his mother, Claudia. Claudia trusts her son when there is a bad situation going on. For example, when their cat, Mews gets eaten by the “demodog”, Dustin lies about how someone found the cat in a town far away just so he can let his new friend out.Photo from Stranger Things wikia

All in all, Dustin loves his mother and didn’t want to break her heart just by telling her that her cat is dead. He lied to her because he does appreciate her and doesn’t want her to be saddened by the news.Photo from Stranger Things wikia

As you can see, I haven’t written about Eleven and Max’s families because the main spoilers are about their family relationships. So, watch Stranger Things and come find out their family dynamics because they are very different. I love seeing different family dynamics in media. Who knows, I might incorporate a Disney-themed article about families.

Header Photo from Stranger Things wikia

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Emily Yoshida

Cal Lutheran

Hi I'm Emily and Im a HCCLU Alum!         
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