In “Station Eleven” By Emily St. John Mandel (Part 1), survival skills are necessary in order to maintain stability, as well as the need to focus on what is front of one, not behind. Jeevan was devastated by what happened to Arthur. However, he knew he had to focus on the survival or both him and his brother, Frank.In the beginning, Arthur, the “king” in act 4 of “King Lear” collapsed which took place in the theater causing his loved ones as well as those who neutrally knew him to be truly saddened which shows his situation is affecting the lives of those who know him. Throughout the novel, it is indicated that Arthur is not only significant within the act itself but also in real life, where people such as Jeevan felt guilt towards the permanent outcome that took place. Due to Arthur’s permanent absence, nothing within the Elgin theater seems as though it’ll ever be the same. It is very common for Jeevan, the main character within the novel considering every event centralizes him to shy away from people, especially at the risk of being exposed to high amounts of attention. This novel truly is an attention grabber to me based on its ability to force me to want to know more about Arthur personally because the perspectives on Arthur were all from people he knew, not him. Also, the novel was set up in a way in which Arthur nearly starts off with the tragedy causing the rest of the story, for the most part, to be based on that tragedy or at least in connection to it.The same way we as humans go through tragedies that can sometimes mentally affect the mind and at the end always have to focus on what is in front of us is the same way Jeevan had to focus on what needed to be done although he knew deep down inside he felt pity for Arthur.
In the beginning of the novel, the tragedy in which took place was when “He stumbled”(Mandel,3) and when “Arthur wasn’t breathing”(Mandel,4). Arthur, the one who played the role of a king collapsed in the middle of an act and was running out of oxygen slowly but surely. This signals the idea that Arthur may have suffered a heart attack. This is significant because this is what led to the way Jeevan began to feel and think. For example, “The unfairness of it, his heart pumping faultlessly while somewhere Arthur lay cold and still” (Mandel,11). In other words, Jeevan felt it was unfair for him to have a heart that does not take any fault while Arthur lays somewhere, dying. This signified that Jeevan is a very caring and unselfish person because although he did nothing wrong in connection with the death of Arthur, he feels as though it is unfair that he is alive while Arthur is nearly dying. In order for someone to feel the pain of someone else as if they were that person even though it is not their responsibility, one must legitimately be a caring person. This connects to the overall argument considering this is what Jeevan had to take his mind off in order to focus on surviving.
Surviving became a challenge to the people in Toronto including Javeen when Javeen gets a text from Hou, who works at the ICU for sick patients stating that there was a flu going around and that it was”The fastest incubation period I’ve ever seen”. This means that this flu is the fastest that has ever spread from one person to another. As a result, the significance for survival is high because Javeen then prepared to protect himself from the flu since he “filled one of the oversized shopping carts with as many cases and bottles as he could fit” (Mandel,21). Javeen began shopping for food, and drinks which go back to show that although situations may affect one mentally, they have to move on. In this case specifically, however, Javeen had to accept Arthurs death in order to focus on surviving which in this case was staying with his brother. This connects to the overall idea considering buying a whole bunch of food and staying in his brother’s house was his way of surviving.
The ending of part 1 was the piece that stood out the most. In the last page, it is said that in the theater, there will be “No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in doing so, feeling slightly less alone in the room.No more avatars”. (Mandel,32). This to me truly stood out because when reading this it made me think about Javeen and his reason for making it seem as though he had little to no knowledge of the death of Arthur. Maybe, just maybe it was to not receive so many questions out of the curiosity of Arthurs death, causing Javeen to feel like the main focus. This is a valid point considering it is said within the novel that “he didn’t like crowds very much” (Mandel, 8). This shows why Javeen possibly didn’t say anything because due to him not enjoying the company of many people at once, it would make sense for him to give little to none reliable information on Arthur’s death causing everyone else to see Javeen as equal as them and as a result him not feeling overcrowded. This is significant in comparison to the thesis considering that he acts as though he knows nothing about Arthur’s death, which signifies him shying away because he knows the outcome if he were to have explained what occurred. it’d be a non-stop interview, exactly what Javeen opposes indirectly.
Overall, this novel is about Arthur dying and how it lead to the theater creating so many new changes. How the tragedy of Arthur brought about so many new precautions added to the theater to possibly prevent the same situation from occurring again. Also, it is about Javeen and the way he goes about prioritizing his main focus points. For example, he was saddened by the death of Arthur but decided to put his primary focus on surviving through the flu. This novel to me sends a message to the outside strictly declaring that one prioritizes their main worries in comparison to what it will take to survive physically. To me, Javeen was one who always put others before himself because when Arthur died Arthur was all that was on his mind and the unfortunate reality of it. Then, when came to fight the flu his main focus was him and his brother getting through this flu without actually catching it. Throughout the story not once does the narrator discuss Javeen expecting credibility or attention but in fact, discusses how unselfish and genuin Javeen actually is.