Stranger Things 2: The meaning of home

"Stranger Things 2" took place in Hawkins, Indiana in the early 80s. The show made me think of home, and its various manifestations. The first season premiered July 15, 2016 and was a big hit.

by Faith Andrews-O'Neal, Writer

First off, I give a fair warning, this is from the point of view of a girl who has had very little sleep, and a lot of feelings. There is a one hundred percent chance of spoilers, so beware. This, of course, is largely due to season two of one of the best shows ever in the entire universe. The first part of the season, I’ll admit, I was a little bummed. It was almost too dark, and I wasn’t sure where the plot line was going. I was lowkey bored, and in my notes, one could find odd sentiments like “I wonder what the Byers’ house smells like” and “If you push down on Steve’s hair, would it bounce back up, or deflate like a balloon?”

However, as I got further into the series, I realized that this darker theme and the plot began to make sense. If you just copied season one, it would be redundant. And of course it’s darker, there’s a literal inter-dimensional monster possessing the body of a middle schooler because Will Byers hasn’t been through enough already. Moreover, there was a larger theme, one that I didn’t pick up on until Eleven was willing to walk away from her “sister”: home.

I’ve always loved the concept of home. Not just the house where we sleep, but the place where you belong, where you’re your truest, happiest self. That same sentiment was discovered over time by Eleven, or should I say, Jane, who runs away from Hopper to find her mother, and her Hawkins Lab sister. Maybe it was the fact that I was working on approximately two hours of sleep, but Eleven going back home brought more tears to my eyes than the opening scene of Up. Of course, they fought Demogorgons, and faced the Upside Down. However, the underlying theme for every character was their home, good or bad.

Stranger Things, at its core, is about what people are willing to do to protect their home, whether it be the city of Hawkins or the people that make this world worth risking your life for. If I could I’d seal a hole in the inter-dimensional fabric of the universe for my friends too. It’s the sheer ridiculousness, and they way creators the Duffer brothers pull it off, that make the show binge-worthy. I was on the verge of crying the entire season, whether it be from the copious love Joyce had for her sons, the tragic death of Bob the Brain, or from laughing at Eleven’s attempt to go trick or treating. It made me grateful for my friends, and also wish I lived in the eighties.

There are a few things in this world Stranger Things taught me to be true. Number one: Don’t eat popcorn at two in the morning in your bed while watching Stranger Things, because you will get scared, and make a ridiculously inconvenient mess. Number two: Steve Harrington is the big brother/babysitter/mother that America needs. Finally, number three (cheese alert): Home really is where the heart is, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.