Initially upon beginning to read Part 2 of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, I was a little confused on where the plot picked up off from Part 1. I understood that many of the people who saw Arthur die, or came to pay respects to him died shortly after the Flu started spreading. At first I thought they were performing a play or an act about the “collapse” of society after the outbreak, but then quickly realized that they were a nomadic symphony around 20 years later. The picture I formed in my head after this realization was the setting of any recent “end of the world” or “zombie apocalypse” movie. I found it quite odd that not much else is revealed in specifics about the Flu until further into the reading. Although not a very large number of people survived, I was still slightly surprised that technology had come to almost a stand still in the post infection time. Many things are described in parts 2 and 3 such as the traveling symphony’s relationships with each other as well as parts of their pasts.
I think my favorite part in these sections of the reading would have to be the situation around the St Deborah community. My first impressions when they arrived were that they would perform and at least somewhat enjoy staying in the area for the few days as planned. I did find that the grave markers they discovered for their not dead yet friends was odd though. They performed for the community successfully and let the prophet speak after their performance. The conductor was feeling uncomfortable during his speech, and after some quiet talk between the two, the conductor instantly decided that they had to leave immediately. The conductor referred to the community as “a doomsday cult” (62). I thought it was a crazy plot twist when the conductor revealed what the prophet had told him quietly after the performance in St Deborah. I knew some of the symphony members felt slightly uncomfortable when they saw the armed guards around the gas station. As they were leaving, a little boy called out, “You have permission to leave?” (63). He explained how if people left without permission, they would have funerals for them. This explains what probably happened to Charlie, Jeremy, and Annabel.
Part 3 helped clarify information about Arthur’s past that wasn’t explained in Part 1. It’s revealed that Arthur goes to Toronto for school, but quickly decides that he doesn’t want to continue with his planned major, and takes up acting lessons instead. He eventually ends up continuously getting small time roles finally landing him in Hollywood. Arthur meets an Artist while working in Hollywood who is writing a graphic comic called Station Eleven. She finds comfort in Arthur I believe, unlike her boyfriend so she eventually ends up with him, although further down the line Arthur has an affair. I believe the fame quickly got to Arthur’s head.