Yea we are getting into Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. So, we have to start with Part 1.
Part 1 is called The Theater. I assume it is called that because it start off with the scene of “act 4” of the “King Lear” play at the “Elgin Theatre in Toronto.” [Mandel, page 3]. King Lear is play by a man named Arthur Leander. “He was fifty-one years old and there were flowers in his hair.” [Mandel, page 3]. After Arthur said this line “I remember thine eyes well enough,” [Mandel, page 3]. He was starting to suffer from what seem to be a heart attack. “There was a change in his face, he stumbled, he reached for a column but misjudged the distance and struck it hard with the side of his hand” [Mandel, page 3]. Later, on page 4 we see that a man name Jeevan who “been training to be a paramedic.” [Mandel, page 3] is jumping on stage coming to help Arthur. Later on a cardiologist try helping him too. They both did CPR but despite their help Author dies.
Author’s death seems to be the beginning of revelations and the end of what is consider a normal life for all of the characters in the story. I believe that things were being revealed when Jeevan met a little girl name Kirsten Raymonde who was crying because she saw what happened and was sad that her friend died. Later on she had admitted to Jeevan that acting is the thing that she “love most in the world,” once she realized that Arthur loved to act. Jeevan, after Arthur dies, realizes that “he was certain, absolutely certain that he wanted to be a paramedic” [Mandel, page 11]. Jeevan finally know what he want to do with his life. The people who had worked with Arthur realized that they didn’t know Arthur well enough to know who can they call to tell about his death. “who was his family?” Then on page 17 Jeevan gets a call from his friend Hua who works at a hospital to warn him about the Georgia Flu. All of these things are happening on the night of Arthur’s death.
The end of the norm is when Jeevan had heard about the news of how quickly the Georgia flu is spreading from his friend. Just, when Jeevan accepted his fate of becoming a paramedic, he gets the call about the Georgia flu outbreak and a warning to leave town. With this call, we know that this flu is really spreading quickly because they have “admitted over two hundred flu patients..”[Mandel, page 18], earlier in the morning and when Jeevan called Hua again at”eleven twenty” at night. Hua said that “Thirty-seven patients had died” [Mandel, page 22]. while reading that part, I can imagine that many more patients were still coming to hospital with the flu.
Also, I believe that Arthur’s death was a symbolic death. Arthur’s death symbolized the end of progression and the beginning of regression. In the beginning of the story I assume that they had all of the technology that we have and use in real life. Then the narrator tell us about all of the drastic changes that the Georgia Flu has created on pages 31 and 32 when the narrator said “No more cities….. No more flight….. No more pharmaceuticals…No more countries, all borders unmanned…No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one’s hand…No more Internet.” [Mandel] The narrator has given us a list of all of the things that are gone. Leaving me to think that those people who lived through this tragedy will have to start from the beginning and rebuild their civilization.
It had me thinking, can something like the Georgia Flu happen now and if it did and if I survived, would we really regress so far as to going back to a horse and a buggy? I would like to believe that we would regress that far because then maybe we will go back to respecting mother nature and life itself which we take for granted.