Crank Ellen Hopkins Essay

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Ellen Hopkins’ Crank is an epic poem geared toward warning young people of the various consequences of using dangerous drugs. However important its message, it provides a single story, a stereotypical tale influenced by pop culture about addiction and the people it affects. In the poem, the heroine, Kristina Snow, gets addicted to methamphetamines, otherwise known as “crank”. Her life takes a downward turn that includes pregnancy and dropping out of school. The poem depicts just one experience with drug abuse and links it to what is perceived to be the most likely thing to happen if you get addicted to drugs, providing a false single story for the young people it targets. The stereotypical race of Kristina for the specific drug, the pregnancy,…show more content…
What she really finds is that she’s pregnant – a story that’s in every pamphlet about various consequences of drug abuse. This event contributes to the single story of her downfall. I remember reading this book and thinking, “Of course she would be pregnant.” Hopkins already actively chose stereotypical circumstances in which to get addicted to crank, and then reiterated these pamphlets and make her pregnant to make that downfall even more stereotypical. The image of the drug-abusing teen mom is “allowing for little individuality” that Kristina desperately needs for Crank to be a more accurate tale of addiction (507). It’s similar to the scene in the film “Mean Girls” with the coach teaching health class: “Don’t have sex: you’ll get pregnant and die.” (Waters, Fey, & Michaels "Mean Girls" 2004). The association with drugs and unprotected sex in the same category is not what children should be taught. Crank perpetuates this when the author makes Kristina get pregnant by a fellow lowlife. This single story is telling young people that unprotected sex and drugs fall hand in hand, what is not true. It is another perpetuated falsehood that Hopkins contributes to with her work. The sheer lack of originality in the plot makes this a single story that negatively impacts the way that these targeted young people perceive

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