Author Archives: blanca borquez

The Harsh Ending

All I hope for is  for a second book. I need to know why she was taken, what is going to happen to her. Is she really pregnant or not?

But as for the rest of the chapters before that.

Even if men were sterile, in Gilead that was a forbidden word. Only women could commit the crime of not being able to bare children. Either they could or could not. But then Serena Joy plants in this possibility onto Offred’s head. “Maybe he can’t.”(204) and in this moment, Offred knows that this could be true. “Maybe you should try another way, another man.”(205). I believe that because of the commander’s age he just can not get her pregnant as easily as a younger man could. That can happen right? She is then offered by the same Serena Joy, to have intercourse with Nick, he is much younger, maybe he can do in ways the commander lacks. Offred feels like this is betrayal, to the commander, but also she can see the desperation in Serena’s eyes. She wants a baby, she wants a kid. No one will know if Offred stays quiet. She has even agreed to show Offred a picture of her daughter and a cigarette and a match. Dangerous thing to give a handmaid a match. She could start a fire, that could be a way to escape.

Now I do want to talk about these arranged marriages. “Even though some of them are no more than Fourteen.”(219) These teenagers are put into these arranged marriages and the thing is that they will not even know what life was before. There is no way of them rebelling like the women are now. It will just be like second nature to them. It has been said that it has also become a way for women to remain safe, they will not have to raise a child by themselves and they will not have to work, so that way they can only focus on their biological duties, to reproduce and raise the young ones.

I want to come on to my favorite moment in which Offred sees Moira at the club that the commander takes her to. “Then I see her. Moira. She’s standing with two other women, I have to look hard, again to make sure it’s really her.”(238) Moira has not been around since she escaped earlier on in the book. No one knew if she did it successfully, I believe Janine had said that she dies. It is all a little foggy by now.

As for the ending of the book, Gilead was made to better the declining population. I think that it also had to do with men having power and women being oppressed. The typical stereotype of men doing the hard work and women staying in the house to birth children and stay home.

One thing that I had never liked was the fact that women were not allowed to read or do any work. it is like all those years of gender equality just did not happen.

Make It All Better


In The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Part IX we get an insight as to how Offred reacts and how she thinks and how she feels after what  has just happened in the study with The Commander. “I want you to kiss me” (139) “As if you meant it” (140). I was shocked at the ending of part VIII for the whole reason that all of this is forbidden and now he wants to kiss her. Not just that but now the commander wants Offred to kiss him like she meant it. I think that our dear author has wanted to show a side to the commander that we hadn’t seen, this vulnerability to him, this need and desperation to feel some sort of connection with this woman. “Time’s a trap, I’m caught in it. I must forget about my secret name and all ways back. My name is Offred now, and here is where I live.”(143). Atwood uses these words to reminds us that Offred is trapped. There is no way to run from this, because if you get caught you get killed, and if she gets killed there is no way of seeing her precious little girl. I am pretty sure she does not want to get killed. It is all for her little girl Hannah. Forming a bond with anyone is forbidden, but Aunt Lydia has taught these handmaids that men are sex machines and they can be manipulated. “You must learn to manipulate them, for your own good.”(144). That is exactly what Offred is doing, using the commander without him even noting that it is for her benefit. She has gotten to read, to put lotion on and to play scrabble. “Pen is Envy, just holding it is envy. I envy the commander his pen.”(186) The commander has let Offred use his pen to write down the words, “ Nolite te bastardes carborundum” which means, “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”. Women are not allowed to write, read or anything having to do with words or physical work as that has been decided by men. Women are treated as housekeepers, some that can give birth and that is all. Women have been degraded at such level that it is insulting.

Offred realizes that she has some sort of power over the commander when she tells him about the former Offred, the one who hung herself. “You want my life to be bearable to me.” Atwood wants to demonstrate how easily Offred has found it to manipulate the commander, which is by guilt.  She knows that he is guilty of that, she knows that he had something to do with it, after all the Latin phrase came from him but it was the former handmaid who wrote it in the room. She knows that this is the way it has to be. To manipulate..

“I suppose it was Cora who found her. ” (187) On another note, Cora was the one who found the former Offred, hung by the ceiling looking all lifeless.  In the morning Cora finds Offred on the floor, she instantaneously drops everything as she screams. “What I heard first the next morning was a scream and a crash.”(151) It must be difficult for Cora to see another handmaid take her own life away. Cora has such high hopes for Offred that she even starts treating her nice.

Notes for Today 11/07/2017 (Terry will continue it)

I volunteered to help Terry with the notes today, no biggie!

Pinch Hitting-  Something to do with baseball; In baseball, a pinch hitter is a substitute batter. Batters can be substituted at any time while the ball is dead (not in active play). 

Free Writing: Counted as a quiz guys!! ( Write about a theme or recurring theme; idea of narrator’s story telling.) Her way of telling a story, writing, thinking, etc…

Congrats Kina, you won this week for people’s choice for the description and extended use of RED !

Gem has been selected for featured post for talking about the role of women in her post!

Reminder: People’s Choice for parts III-VIII due Wednesday Nov.8th at night ( By 11:59 pm if you want exact details)


Only 18 people posted in the blogs. SMH guys!!! the semester is almost over!! come on!!!

Mid-Semester Grades: If you have NOT heard from our lovely Professor Belli, then you are off the hook. She called out the names during class, if you did not attend class, email her just to be safe. You want to know whether you are failing or not right?

If you want to have a chat with her about any assignments ( including the essay) EMAIL her ASAP to book an appt with her. She will be available today 11/07, tomorrow 11/08, and Thursday 11/09. Come with printed material..


Story Telling: Pg.39-40

“It isn’t a story I’m telling but it is a story I’m telling.” – mixture of past and facts. 

  • Hierarchy– Color of dresses
  • Epigraphs
  • Descriptive
  • Imagery (Book uses lots of descriptions and imagery)
  • Narrative:
  • Table of Contents-Functional (sort of like a journal, what happens, not so much like a list.)
  • “Night”- has an importance
  • The night is mine, my own time, to do with as I will, as long as I am quiet. As long as I don’t move. As long as I lie still.” (37)

  • Night is he freedom, as long as she is quiet. 
  • Memories- She reminisces about her Daughter Hannah and Husband Luke. 
  • Meditation- During the day, her life is about waiting to be told what to do. Lots of free time. 
  • Offred time travels through her mind, she retains control of her mind while all else has been lost to her.
  • Subjective Narrative- All she has, cannot talk freely. 
  • Constantly revises the way she tells her story. Gilead, Red Center.
  • Propaganda- To persuade you to change your opinion.
  •  Narrator thinks back to how commander reads bible  by ceremony.
  • Free Association:  Something that makes you think about something else, and on and on… – Offred’s Style. 
  • Author is very attentive to detail.
  • “I need to be very clear, in my own mind.” (33)

    We will continue on Thursday 11/09/2017

The Eyes Will Forever Watch Us

This book is getting so good I am towards the end of it already!!!

The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood parts III – VIII will be discussed in this post.

During the night, when Offred aka June has all the time in the world to wonder in her room, she likes to think of her old life, her past. How things were before it all started. She likes to think of times of when she and Moira would hang out. They used to talk about paper dues and stuff like that. “In half an hour, I said. I had a paper due the next day. “(37).  June used to work in a publishing house, which she enjoyed very much, nothing compared to life now.

“I would like to believe this is a story I am telling. I need to believe it. I must believe it. Those who can believe that such stories are only stories have a better chance. If it’s a story I’m telling, then I have control over the ending. Then  there will be an ending, to the story, and real life will come after it. I can pick up where I left off. It isn’t a story I’m telling. It’s also a story I’m telling, in my head, as I go along. Tell rather than write, because I have nothing to write with and writing is in any case forbidden. (39) 

In this life, her name is Offred. She thinks to herself a lot, she speaks to herself in the confinement of her own mind where no one else will hear. These times are tough for someone who used to be so independent, someone who worked for herself, who used to write papers and read them over and over and over again. She rather tell stories to herself because in a way that is not forbidden, Writing is forbidden, and she dare not even look at a pen. She envies those who can do so. Because being able to write and read means to have some sort of freedom. Women can’t, Handmaid’s can’t. They are trapped in this era that prevents them from doing any work that may improve their brain skills and make them independent again.

Apart from Handmaids and Marthas there are Econowives, for those who don’t have enough money i guess.

“The mother; she carries a small black jar. From the size of the jar you can tell how old it was when it foundered, inside her, flowed to its death. Two or three months, too young to tell whether or not it was an Unbaby. The older ones and those that die at birth have boxes.” (44)

Birth rates are very low in this place. Either they cannot procreate or miscarriages happen. Population has been declining for a while and those who suspect are pregnant are cared for to make sure the baby survives. This is why Handmaids are there. To give these families babies that they cannot create themselves. But of course it hurts them every time, It is like getting your hopes up and then getting them crushed. If a handmaid has a miss carriage, it is automatically her fault.

“We pause out of respect, while they go by. I wonder if Ofglen feels what I do, pain like a stab, in the belly. Beneath her veil the first one scowls at us. One of the others turns aside, spits on the sidewalk. The Econowives do not like us.” (44) 

I do not know exactly why they do not like the handmaids, but I do know that Marthas do not like the handmaids because they think that they are degrading themselves. Something like a “streetwalker” for better wording.

“Nick looks up and begins to whistle. Then he says,”Nice walk?” I nod, but do not answer with my voice. He isn’t supposed to speak to me. “(45)

Nick is the driver I believe, He is something else as well, he seems fishy to me but that will be left for another part. Men are not supposed to speak to the handmaids unless it is their commander. I think Nick is intrigued by Offred. He wants to know her, he is lonely and now he sees this woman who is not the wife of the commander and who in a way replies to him. Will he try something more?

Every month a handmaid has to go to the doctor to get tested for pregnancy and disease. While she is undressed at the doctor’s office, from waist down with a paper covering her from waist up, the doctor makes her an interesting proposal.

“I could help you, I’ve helped others. The door is locked. No one will come in. They’ll never know it isn’t his.” (60)

There has been stories told about how things like this happen because the commanders are sterile or something similar. Even though the word sterile is forbidden to say or even think about. They usually just blame the handmaid. They rather blame them for not getting pregnant than for the man not being able to. I think that that is just simply unfair for these women to be blamed for something that they have no control of. They do not even have a choice nor opinion in this matter. They get used for their wombs and who knows what they do to her afterwards.

After a handmaid gives birth, the commander’s wives are in control of the names. Janine had a beautiful baby girl and her commander’s wife named the baby Angela. Everyone is happy because of the arrival of this baby.

“”Maybe we have one, soon.” She says, shyly. By we she means me. Cora depends on me, she hopes, and I am the vehicle of her hope.”(135)

Every house patiently awaits for a handmaid that can give them a baby. These women look like as if they are desperate to have this baby in their arms. Maybe if Offred gets pregnant, everyone in that house will be happy and smile more often. It all sounds so depressing. By Offred having a healthy child, Cora hopes to spoil him or her someday. The thought of a little kid around is something that they die for.

Red Control

The book The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood has got me lost from the beginning. It is like I know what is going on but not exactly. I can honestly say that curiosity has kept me reading this far and actually enjoying it. During my read of parts I and II, I came across a couple points that I found interesting and felt like I wanted to talk more about them.

What is going on and why are these ladies being treated like this? Is this why things are so controlled? “Army cots that had been set up in rows with spaces between so we could not talk.”(4). First of all my question is why. Why can’t these ladies talk among themselves. But besides that point these ladies named, Alma, Janine, Dolores, Moira, June, and our narrator Offred have learned to read lips and whisper to a point where no sound was made. “They’ve removed anything you could tie a rope to.”(7). Back to my question, why would these women want to kill themselves? Are things bad enough that they just want an end to it? is that what it is?

Throughout part II I realized that these red handmaids or whatever they are called, they are not looked as if they were doing something good. They dress up in some way that makes me, the reader think that no one must look at them. “The Japanese tourists come towards us, twittering, and we turn our heads away too late: our faces have been seen.”(28) From what I have gathered by reading so far, these women are not to be looked at. They wear all of these clothes so people do not look at them. Once they see these tourists and what they wear and how they show their heads and how one of them had open toed sandals and their toenails are painted pink. These women like Offred and Ofglen have been used to being so covered that they are fascinated by the mere look of how these people are walking around without covering their hair and wearing skirts so short, even though they were just right under the knee. They feel fascinated but yet at the same time they feel repelled. “I also know better than to say yes. Modesty is invisibility, said Aunt Lydia. Never forget it, To be seen is to be penetrated. What you must be, girls, is impenetrable.”(28) I believe that this is somehow their motto or something of the sort. That is why they wear wings on their faces, to prevent people from seeing them.  “Are they happy? How can they be happy? ” (29) Living in a world like this, where power is only for the men, women cannot do anything that would end up wanting them to move up in this political ladder. These women are controlled and I think and believe that in a way they do not even notice it as they are being preoccupied by other things. They gossip to pass news around and to keep themselves occupied and interested in things.

I want to talk about how doctors or certain doctors had been killed then hung. because in some past they performed abortions. With how things are in this time and the declining of births as one may put it, these doctors were not helping. They were looked for and killed for what they have done. These informants ratted them out, and sometimes those same informants could have been nurses or other doctors just to save their own butts. It wasn’t always like that though.


“Survival is Insufficient”

Okay guys here it is, it is not perfect. I am putting ideas in, I may end up changing the title or the “argument” and keep going on with my idea. Please comment if you have any ideas and want to help. I have much more to add later on, I am still looking for more quotes.

Being human means more than just surviving. It means moving on, finding peace and happiness within yourself and coming to terms with what is what isn’t. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel has proven that being alive is not all there is to life. Surely like after an apocalypse wiping out almost an entire species, we the readers have seen how these people have come together and unified, at least some of them anyways.

After almost all humans have been wiped out of the face of the earth, there are still remnants of what would be called the old world. Technology as we knew it, is gone. No phones, no television, no electronics and no way of communicating with those around the globe. It means that it is time to move on, your girlfriend or boyfriend or wife or husband is most likely dead. They are not coming back and instead of suffering or killing yourself, why not move on? Find someone else to grow old with. Maybe have kids, try to be happy for the rest of your life. Find peace within yourself and those around you. Sometimes moving on means changing. You will not be the same person you used to be before it all happened. “What choice do I have? You know this… this time we live in, you know it forces a person to do things.” (Mandel 292). You may end up being stuck in a group, some bad influences.

Finding peace is a process , just like being happy and moving on. It is okay to remember the past. Don’t forget all the good stuff you had. Those are great memories and it is okay to hold on to them. Jeevan was starting a new career, I like to think his life was going somewhere and now it has all been changed. “He rarely thinks of his life anymore, although he has dreams sometimes about a stage, an actor fallen in the shimmering snow, and other dreams where he’s pushing shopping carts through blizzards.” (Mandel 312). But not to live in the past. It is not healthy for your soul nor your mind and heart. There was a time where people did not know what would happen to them, they used to think that help was on the way. Times have changed. “In the summer of year Ten, Jeevan had married one of the settlement’s founders, a former sales assistant named Daria.” (Mandel 269). Jeevan eventually found  way of moving on, starting a family and living his life.

My Ending

Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel

Parts 7 through 9

This is it, this is the end of our beloved book and I have become too attached to such a great book that I just simply cannot let go. 

The final chapters in this book gave me an insight as to what Arthur Leander was thinking in his final days. I have to say that I just did not like him from the beginning, how he treated the women he was with. I may have been a bit harsh with his character. Like I mentioned in my last post, he did get what he deserved. He left Miranda for Elizabeth, and He left Elizabeth for Lydia, until Lydia broke that cycle and left him for another man. Three words said by Miranda, “I repent nothing”(107) that stuck with Arthur for the rest of his life. “He found he was a man who repented almost everything, regrets crowding in around him like moths to a light.”(327) Arthur did things that he was not proud of, he hurt people in the process, and all for his success or for his desires. In a way, I think that our author here, Emily St. John Mandel wanted to show us a part of Author that was hidden. The fact that he lived with his guilt on his shoulders. He repented all the wrong he did and how he did it. This shows us how he felt in his last few moments before his death. He missed his son, who by the way turned up to be the Prophet, with some sick mind. The author wanted to show us that Arthur had a soft heart after all. A young guy who started out in a small island, a person who just wanted to travel, to feel free and who also wanted fame. That is coming for a  young one’s mind, but of course you cannot have fame without paying some sort of price for it. As he grew up, matured, and got wiser, he did not want to be remembered for the man that had three ex-wives and was very famous and did plays and movies, he wanted to be remembered as the man who gave his money away for better things.”Wasn’t this what money was for? This was what his life was going to mean, finally after all these years of failing to win Oscars, this string of box-office flops. He would be known as the man who gave his fortune away.”(322). I hate to think of it, but maybe like charity work, It is just that Tanya did not see it like that. Our author gave Arthur some happy final moments, doing what he loved and did best, act.

Tyler, Arthur’s only son survived the collapse, but he took a wrong turn. Something happened to him, something internally, mentally and emotionally and I believe that the author wanted to keep this a mystery. How could a young boy very sweet become a corrupted man who wants to bed 12 year old girls to repopulate the earth? In the end I was glad that he was shot and that it was all done with. I wonder what happened to Elizabeth, did our Prophet kill her? Could a son kill his own mother? Did she get sick and die? We will never know.

And what about Miranda, She had the most troublesome death yet the most peaceful one on a beach in Malaysia. “Exhaustion. She was desperately hot, then wracked with chills. Her thoughts were disordered.  No one came.”(227). Of course it was something that spread around way too fast and before she knew it, it was too late. She just could not escape.

I would like to say that the author did a great job with the story line and the plot that captured everyone’s attention. This was a great book and I will totally read again some other time. I do wish that there was a second part to this just because I want to know where the Symphony ends up and if Kirsten ever finds this place with electricity. 

Stationed in The Past

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Parts four through six

“I had to leave,  I’m so sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll do anything, just-” (123)

Eleanor is a twelve year old girl from St. Deborah by the water, who lost her parents therefore she was alone.Eleanor escaped, then was discovered hidden under the costumes days after the symphony left the town by August. August himself was a “stowaway” She had to leave because the prophet wanted to marry her. She was “promised” to the prophet which in my opinion I think that this is sick. Why would a grown man want to marry a twelve year old. In what sick mind of his would he even be attracted to that. And the worst part of it all is that he says that he is to repopulate. Something about being chosen to repopulate. Not just with anyone, but a twelve year old. I do not understand why the rest of the people from the town or village could not stand up to him and the rest, because we know that he is not alone.

“When people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt.”(178)

Jeevan found himself thinking about how human the city is. If you think about it, when there are no firefighters then the fire will continue to spread. If there are no one driving these big trucks the product which can be food, water, gasoline, medicine, and such will not get to the destination. There will then be no food, stores will close. People will stop making money. With no money you cannot pay rent, You cannot afford food, or clothes. Everything just stops, there is nothing you can do anymore. except survive, but of course survival is not everything. 

“I think there is just survival out there, Jeevan. I think you should go out there and try to survive.”(183)

These words were said by Jeevan’s Paralized from the waist down brother Frank. He knows that he can not be going this far and I think he is giving Jeevan a way out without hurting him not a lot anyways. Frank tells Jeevan to leave because eventually Frank was going to slow both of them down. If you think about it, Jeevan could have left from the beginning but he stayed because of his brother. He could not just leave him alone to die like that. It is family and if you are going to die, i guess it would be much better to do so with your loved ones.

“But let’s be honest here, none of them went into the entertainment industry because they wanted to do good in the world. They acted because they loved acting but also, let’s be honest here, to be noticed. All they wanted was to be seen.”(186)

I like to think that at some point of our lives, we all want to be seen, we all want to be remembered for something. We all want to have left a mark in this world, to have mattered. So that maybe someone could be like, ” Yeah, I met her and she was a great woman.”. 

20 Years Later and Many More Before

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven Part 2

Part 2 deals with the future. Twenty Years after the epidemic named The Georgia Flu. At first I wondered like always, What happened  to Jeevan, Laura, Frank, all the people from the theater and Arthur’s ex-wives and his kid. Even though at the same time I knew they were dead, I was kind of hoping we would have had more information on them. Who knows what the next parts will bring us. Part 2 tells you how the symphony travels and what they are up to. Most of the people are not much older. mid to late 20’s and 30’s and on have seen the whole disintegration of the human race. While the younger ones do not remember a thing because they were either born after it or they were way too little to remember anything.

One character that stood out to me in this part, is Kirsten Raymonde, the little girl that was introduced to us in part one chapter one. Jeevan had gotten to her so she could not see any more of the commotion while paramedics tried to resuscitate Arthur. Kirsten is not a little girl anymore, She is 28 and has gone through tough times with the symphony. I am pretty sure you are asking yourself, what is the symphony. The symphony is a group of people that have been traveling since the 5th year after the collapse happened, the collapse of humanity and society, the big flu that killed thousands. These people  play classical music, jazz music, orchestral arrangements of pre-collapse pop songs and Shakespeare, We have to think that this has taken place in a future where things are completely different. There is no electricity, there is no internet, no social media, no cops, not trash disposal automated boxes or stuff like that. Caravans are made from old cabs and pick up trucks, pulled by horses. (36)

Most of the grownups had been kids during the whole collapse. Some of them or most of them do not even remember what computers were like. there are a couple that remembers how it was.Kirsten collects pictures of Arthur before when he was younger. I think she remembers him because all of what happened in on front of her eyes while the paramedics were trying to revive him. Before Arthur died, he had given Kirsten 2 comic books, No.1 Vol.1 “Station Eleven” and No.1 Vol.2 “The Pursuit”. She keeps them inside a zip-lock in a small very old red spider-man book bag. She has them memorized, and she keeps them close to her all the time.”Kirsten’s taken care the comics as best as she can, but they’re dog-eared now, worn soft on the edges.”(42)

As the Symphony reaches St. Deborah by the water they get this odd feeling when people don’t go out to greet them like they did two years ago. There is something wrong, they can feel it but they quickly dismiss it. “but what was strange was that the music drew almost no onlookers as they passed.”(43) Later on we discovered that there is something seriously going on in this town. Where are the people that used to live here? What do you mean they don’t know where those people left to? Someone told Dieter, ” There had been an epidemic in which thirty people died of a fever, including the mayor.”(54) After that the town went through some “management changes” There was now a prophet saying things to people. Dieter found some grave markers, Kirsten could not believe that her friends were buried in there, these graves were empty, it was just the marks that had their name, but why? Charlie, The 6th guitar whose name is Jeremy with their baby daughter named Annabelle (Named after Jeremy’s sister) were gone and the symphony  did not know where they went.

After the symphony performed their play, which happened to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream, everyone rose for a standing ovation. Personally for me, I immediately disliked the prophet, talking so much garbage,  like shut up already. I think he is the kind of people you meet and you want to roll your eyes every time you hear them speak. “That everything that has ever happened on this earth has happened for a reason”(59). This is one of those people that love to talk about that things happened for a reason, that there was a cleanse and stuff like that. I do not believe in things like that. Like we discussed in our previous story, “There will come soft rains” nature will always find a way to adapt. Hurricanes and other stuff will happen just like illnesses will happen that will wipe out part or most of humanity and sometimes none of it.

After the prophet was done speaking, he went up to the conductor of the symphony and “suggested that we consider leaving Alexandra, as a guarantee of future good relations between the symphony and the town.” All because he is looking for another bride.(65) They all grabbed all their stuff and left that same night,  this night they left south to see if they could find Charlie, Jeremy, and Annabelle. Just as they were leaving there was a small boy asking them if they had permission to leave. If they didn’t, the town was going to host a funeral for them, and after that funeral they were not allowed to come back.(63) Just as they passing through, the boy asked Kirsten to take him with them, but Kirsten was not going to be part of any kidnapping and creating more problems.

Emily St.John Mandel, Station Eleven Part 3

I found part 3 much more interesting because it reveals details from many many years ago. The first chapter in part 3 gives us an insight into Arthur Leander, and his life before wife number 1, whose name is Miranda . His mother calls him one day and tells him about Susie the waitress that used to serve him pancakes as a kid, she has a niece and had came to live to town and she wanted Arthur to come and take her out to dinner or lunch. Arthur was in his mid 20’s or late 20’s by this point and Miranda was only 17 years old. He was struck by her beauty and the way she carried herself at such a young age.

After that first chapter we get into Miranda and her life. We see what she has gone through and how things played out.  I was a bit shocked to learn that she was the author of the comic books that Arthur gave Kirsten many years later.(80) When Miranda met Arthur she had a boyfriend named Pablo, he was an artist, a painter i believe. After a while she was the only one contributing into the house and rent. It was only her income getting them through. Pablo hated her working so late. He also hated her working in a corporate office, working for a young executive Leon Prevant. (81) He does not trust her being out so late, he calls her to the office phone to make sure she is there but the thing is that she felt more at peace being in her cubicle at work, working on her comic book than at her own home. That same night they get into a somewhat of a fight because she is just bored with Pablo, the way he treats her and talks to her reminds me  a little of Jeevan and Laura from Part 1. Pablo always complained why Miranda spent so much time on a comic book wasting her talent or saying she had no talent at all to waste. (87) That same night Arthur calls her and asks her out to dinner, She basically ends up not going home that night. She goes back home the following morning to get her stuff and leave Pablo for good.

In a blink of an eye Arthur and Miranda are celebrating their 3 year anniversary(91). Miranda has a small white Pomeranian dog named Luli, who looks like a marshmallow. Instead of having dinner just the two of them to celebrate their anniversary, Arthur has hosted some sort of dinner party. “Miranda is finding it increasingly difficult to hide her unease. Why would a 3 year anniversary celebration involve anyone other than the 2 people who are actually married to each other.”(91) She feels like she doesn’t really belong there with all these famous people in her dining table. “Is it Miranda’s imagination, or is he going out of his way to avoid looking at her directly?”(95) Something is going on with Arthur and she feels this change, she feels the shift in the relationship. When the people ask her about her work or what she does, Arthur comes in. Its like if he doesn’t want her to speak. But she is happy with her work. She describes it as ” It makes me happy. It’s peaceful, spending hours working on it. It doesn’t really matter to me if anyone else sees it.” (95) She does her work for her own enjoyment.

She later on goes out to the terrace to let Luli out, “But Miranda, watching from the outside sees everything: the way Elizabeth goes still and looks down, the way Arthur thanks everyone for coming  to his home, meeting everyone’s eyes except Elizabeth’s, who has slightly touched his thigh from under the table. And this is when Miranda understands. It’s too late, and it has been for a while.” (98) All because of Arthur, she starts smoking again and everything goes downhill from here. Miranda ends up moving out and leaving Arthur of course. “She always found the house beautiful, but even more so now that she knows she is leaving”(102). Her heart is broken. She meets Jeevan the same night when she goes outside and asks him for a cigarette.  She expresses her feelings or thoughts by saying, “We were not meant for this world, Let us go home.”(105)

The Beginning of The End

Station Eleven, A novel by Emily St. John Mandel

So far this will only be about part one, including chapters one through six.

During the first chapter we get introduced to Arthur, who is an actor in a play called, King Lear.  In act four, Arthur has a heart attack and  dies. Jeevan, a paramedic in training comes to aide but unfortunately cannot save his life for it was too late. Kirsten Raymonde is then introduced as a child actor who happens to be shocked just watching this event unfold in front of her. The person who is supposed to be taking care of Kirsten is called Tanya. Tanya has been having a secret rendezvous with our dead guy, Arthur. But of course no one knew this, or actually everyone knew on the low except for the producer. After all the commotion was over, a couple of the people from the theater stayed back, including the bartender, talking, trying to figure out who of Arthur’s family or close people they could call to let them know the bad news. Arthur had a 7 year old son and three ex-wives but he was not close to any of them.

Moving on to the person who I really wanted to talk about from part one would be Jeevan Chaudhary, as you knew from the previous paragraph, He is a paramedic, has a girlfriend whose name is Laura (1), a brother later on introduced as Frank (19), and his best friend Hua (17). Jeevan and Laura have a complicated relationship which tends to get even more complicated as this plague reveals itself. Goodbye Laura.. From what Hua told Jeevan over the phone, “I got a patient in the ICU, Sixteen-year old girl, flew in from Moscow last night, presented with flu like symptoms at the ER early this morning. It’s not looking good for her. Well by midmorning we’ve got twelve more patients, same symptoms, turns out they were all on the same flight. They all say they started feeling sick on the plane.” (17). This small dialogue coming from Hua is the first we hear of something this grave happening. Hua calls Jeevan to let him know what is going on but he is also scared to tell his bestfriend because of how he may react. Hua wants Jeevan to get out of there as fast as possible, even if it means leaving him behind. Hua told Jeevan to leave the city, and get as far away as possible from this sickness that has not been labeled yet. Later on in the news it has been given the name of ” the Georgia flu” (21).

My imagination took me away from this and reminded me of the movie, World War Z. These people will most likely not turn into the vicious zombies that we see from the movie, if you have watched the movie at all but the whole idea of an epidemic, disease going around and spreading like wildfire reminds me so much of this movie. I do not know if there will be people in quarantine for I have not read further than part 1, but this picture came into my head as I kept reading on when Hua calls Jeevan to let him know how things are doing.

This picture shows all the disease zombies carrying the virus acting all crazy wanting to go over the wall to kill the people that are actually healthy. Why is this happening? No clue.  The people shown in the picture are quarantined off from the rest of the population so that maybe the human race could be salvaged.

Back to the story and my opinions,

Like any other sane person, after my best friend calls me and tells me to leave the city because there is an epidemic unfolding and there is not much time. I would not think about it twice. I would grab my family and some essential things and leave as soon as possible. Unfortunately that just did not happen with Jeevan, He can’t just up and leave. Hes debating on calling Laura, but he is  just tired of how she treats him. Honestly I would be too, always assuming things. He bought the theater tickets as a romantic gesture, ” a let’s-do-something-romantic-because-all-we-do-is-fight, and she’d abandoned him there, she’d left him onstage performing CPR on a dead actor and gone home, and now she wanted him to buy milk.” (11) I wouldn’t be with someone like Laura, she is being ungrateful. Like why couldn’t she just wait for her boyfriend. Anyways, he calls her and tells her about the epidemic and to get out of the city and there she goes asking in some accusatory tone where he has been. Definitely not getting the milk!

Frank is in a wheelchair and given the time of the day, or night, there aren’t any vehicles for wheelchairs available. Therefore Jeevan stays with his brother, he buys 90% of the grocery store and takes it to his brother’s house and stays there.  If I couldn’t leave I rather stay with my family. At least we would die together. Such a way of thinking right?

As I started reading chapter six I was confused, because the only question that kept popping up was, ” What is going on?, What happened? Did everyone die?”  At that exact moment I remembered the beginning of “The Walking Dead”. Sure, these are not zombies in the book, but after all it is all an epidemic. The human race becoming extinct. Resources, food, clothes, shelters all gone or becoming scarce. 

“No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more Internet, No more social media.” (32). This is exactly shown in this picture. Besides the dead bodies, but you get the idea.
I will continue reading more to see where all of this ends up.