This Road We call Life
Boy Meets World had so many great things going for it. It taught children life lessons without them having to learn the hard way and there being a possibility of ruining their lives forever. The show talked about real issues going on in the world, unlike many other television shows geared toward the same audience. The show even became emotional at times. Some people in the show were better off than others, but that did not matter to the characters. They all treated each other the same. This is an idea that should be instilled in all children across America. At the same time, the show could be funny and exciting. The success of the show, however, depended on the audience. It resonated so deeply with the generation that grew up with it because the characters grew and changed along with the audience.
This Road We Call Life
Colcord (1997) wrote,
“When this Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World
Wandering down this road that we call life Is what we’re doin’
It’s good to know I have friends that will always
Stand by me
When this Boy Meets World” (ll. 1-7). This quote from the theme song of Boy Meets World demonstrates a good perspective to have on life. The themes of the show resonated with its audience because the characters face so many real-life situations and issues throughout the course of the show. Shawn, in particular, goes through many hard times and has to learn how to deal with these difficulties properly. The show’s success has depended on the growth of its characters in relation to the growth of its audience.
The show focuses on two young boys as they grow up and move on to bigger and better lives. The boys experience situations to which many people can relate. Some major character archetypes shown in Boy Meets World include the boy whose family is well off with the friend whose family has low income, as well as the boy and the girl who like each other but, who are afraid to say it. These are situations that most people have experienced in one way or another. Another real-life issue portrayed in the show is growing up, finishing high school and having to leave home for the first time, a scary idea to most people. The show includes conflicts between brother and brother, friend and friend, father and son, boy and girl, mother and son, and teacher and students.
Some of the conflicts we see in Boy Meets World revolve around the emotional development of the characters. As children grow into adults they become better at dealing with their emotions, though some are better at it than others. Much of how children develop depends on how their parents raise them and the challenges they have to face while growing up. John Santrock (2010) says “During middle and late childhood, many children show marked improvement in understanding and managing their emotions. However, in some instances, as when they experience stressful circumstances, their coping abilities can be challenged” (p. 558). When a child’s coping abilities are challenged, they may have a harder time dealing with stressful situations.
This inability to cope is exemplified by one of the main characters in Boy Meets World. Shawn starts out as an impoverished child growing up in a trailer park, trying to learn to live with parents who have differences of opinions on everything and a mother who cannot seem to be able to decide if she wants to be in his life. His family, though they love him, are not the best people in the world to be raising a child. Most of them have prison records or have spent time in jail. By the end of the series, though, Shawn is able to move beyond this rough start to life, own up to his mistakes, and accept the deserved punishments.
One person who helps him do this is his best friend Cory. Cory is not exactly a “rich kid,” but his family is much better off financially than Shawn’s family. Even though Cory and Shawn come from