Stranger Things introduces the character of Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, as a compassionate and intelligent young girl with a traumatic past. Her unique journey and the reasons behind her name, both given by her friends and her birth mother, add depth to her character arc. This article explores the significance of why Eleven’s friends call her Eleven and the story behind her birth name, Jane.
Why Do Eleven’s New Friends Call Her Eleven?
- Unexpected Encounters: Eleven’s introduction to the group of friends occurs when they find her in the woods while searching for their missing friend, Will Byers.
- The Meaning of “Eleven”: Due to the number “001” tattooed on her arm from her time at Hawkins National Lab, Eleven’s friends call her Eleven, giving her a sense of identity and belonging.
- Trust and Connection: Despite her initial fear and uncertainty, Eleven instinctively knows she can trust these newfound friends and feels at home.
Why Is Eleven Originally Named Jane?
- The Stranger Things Prequel Novel: In the novel “Suspicious Minds” by Gwenda Bond, it is revealed that Eleven’s mother, Terry, named her Jane after reading about Jane Goodall.
- Inspiration from Jane Goodall: Terry admired Jane Goodall’s practice of giving names, rather than numbers, to the chimpanzees she studied. By naming her daughter Jane, Terry defied Dr. Brenner’s dehumanizing treatment of Eleven.
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Evolution of Eleven’s Identity
- Transition to “Jane”: In season 4, when Eleven moves to California with the Byers, she asks her new classmates and teachers to call her Jane, signaling her desire to fit in and adapt to her new life.
- Challenges and Bullying: Despite her efforts, Eleven faces difficulties, such as bullying from classmates like Angela, highlighting the ongoing struggles she faces in adjusting to everyday life.
- Future Expectations: As Stranger Things heads into its fifth and final season, it is likely that Eleven will reclaim her original name, Eleven, as she reunites with her friends and prepares to save Hawkins, Indiana once again.
Conclusion: Eleven’s character in Stranger Things is a testament to her resilience, compassion, and growth. The significance behind her name, given by her friends and mother, adds depth to her identity. As the series progresses, Eleven’s journey continues to captivate audiences, and her development as a character remains a central aspect of the show’s narrative.