Category Archives: Station Eleven

The Choices We Make Define Who We Are

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel gives the readers a taste of death, survival, fate, civilization and memories. She takes us through what once was and how things are now. As the story goes on we also see how everyone somehow interlinks. We also see how any decision that the characters in this story make begin to shape them for who we now know them as.

Constantly throughout Station Eleven we are inside of Arthur’s life. It is almost as if this story was mainly written to tell his story. The thing is, everything does eventually come right back to him. The protagonists in this story have either come across Arthur or have had an actual relationship with him. Kirsten is only this child actress who took part in Arthur’s final production King Lear. However, for some odd reason her life seems to revolve around this man. She did not remember too much from before this new world but she remembers him. She is always looking for pictures or pieces of him in any magazines that she can find. “There were countless things about the pre-collapse world that Kirsten couldn’t remember…but she did remember Arthur Leander.” (40) She carried around pictures of him and Station Eleven the comic that Arthur had given to her.

Similar to Kirsten there is Tyler. Tyler is not only Arthurs son but he is also The Prophet. Tyler witnessed a broken marriage. He did not get to see his father all that much. But Arthur does give Tyler Station Eleven the comic book as well. This was the one thing he held most dear to him because his father gave it to him. Even after this pandemic he too carried around a version of Station Eleven the comic. “A folded piece of paper fell out of the book. It was a page torn from a copy of Dr. Eleven, Vol. I, No: I: Station Eleven.” (304) Kirsten kind of includes Arthur into her life so much that anything regarding him seemed as though it was something valuable to her. With or without realizing this comic book ends up being a character as well just like Tyler and Kirsten. Tyler let Station Eleven and religion influence him so much he became The Prophet. Without the comic book, Kirsten would not have ever been able to “defeat” Tyler.

Reflection :

I am not exactly sure where I want to go with my topic. I do however know that I want to focus on Station Eleven the comic book is of importance in this story. I also want to touch upon religion to further explain Tyler’s part in the story. I know how everyone connects in the end and it actually is important with the point I am trying to make. Not every single character in this story is important to mention for the point that I’m making but I do need to figure out how to tie in Miranda, Tyler, Arthur, Kirsten, religion and the comic book together. The quotes needed to back up my point are already highlighted. I just don’t know how to go about writing this essay. I don’t even like the temporary title.

Loneliness is a silent killer

Introduction

Humans are social creatures, its because of this we as a species survived for so long, but what happens when an event or situation causes isolation to many people? When people experience extreme isolation they start to break down mentally, start to exhibit weird behavior  Mental health is  something many people take for granted, especially when in dire need of help and in lesser cases temporary isolation brings mental epiphany of oneself. In Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel these themes of loneliness and Mental Health are touched on in varying degrees. 

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When discussing loneliness there are many examples to point to because of the situation the characters where put thru. In the very beginning of the book the character named Jeevan was left in the theater after trying to resuscitate a man.  “His phone vibrated in his pocket. He stopped to read a text message from Laura: I had a headache so I went home. Can you pick up milk? And here, all momentum left him. He could go no farther. The theater tickets had been intended 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) This quote shows the anger that this isolation brought him and also the pain of trying to be closer to someone you love being nonchalant about your efforts. Laura, Jeevan’s girlfriend temporarily isolated him, which brought him confusion, anger and shock.

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To discuss Tyler would be to discuss many of the Themes in the story and how many characters intertwine with him. ” I should have pulled her back from the edge. But it had taken everything he had to stay back from the edge himself, and what could he have done?” (261). Tyler is so lonely that he develops a disturbing obsession with the new testament. He had a absentee father and a enabling mother who did not bother give her son attention, even when it seems that he desperately needs it. He had none around him who he could call a friend or loved one who could just keep him in reality of the situation he is in.

Reflection

I will focus on the themes of loneliness and Mental Health and try to convey the connection to each other. The characters are affected differently when faced with the end of the world. With this we can accurately show how themes treated created weird and unique situations that pushed people to either contemplate life and purpose or show how damaged they have become.

“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.

To survive is not enough

Introduction

When the world is collapsed by pandemic or some other disasters, the fatalities appear continuously, most of the technologies from the modern civilization such as  communication technology, convenient transportation and the internet technology all disappear after this, how is the people who were left over going to react on this? Are they going to struggle just for taking the last breath before the end of the world? Are they going to live as usual and treat that situation like a part of life for sure, continue living without pursues and slowly forget their memory of how people built up their previous civilization? Are they going to kill each other and gather the last goods and materials and make themselves survive a little longer? However, none of these were the best choice. To survive in the collapsed world was not enough, if you have a chance to survive under the disaster, there’s things that more valuable for you to do but just struggling to survive only.

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In the book, “Station Eleven” written by Emily St. John Mandel, the narrator indicated that the real attitude which people should have under the destruction of the Georgia Flu. This can be reflected by one of the main characters, Miranda which was the ex-wife of Arthur. She was always yearn for the life of the modern civilization and never ever lose hope on the life in the future, even though the scene of her death was sad but still beautiful. She always try to escape from the ordinary but she was lost on it. Through the comic book she wrote, it clearly express how was she thinking about the current world and the future world, there should a hope and attitude for continue living in the world. It indicated this more detail in the time Clark was reading her books. (332) Second is the story between Jeevan and his brother, Frank. Frank commit suicide and Jeevan had a strong chance continue living and moving forward. Here strongly indicated that to survive is not enough, Frank held an opposite side to the thought of Jeevan, Frank is the person which was more realistic and pessimistic, he would just continue living without pursues and wait for his death. However, Jeevan had a strong hope on restoring the modern civilization, he wanted to get back the modern society and continue living there, but not just straggling hard just for the survival. The suicide of Frank here indirectly  support the narrator’s point of view on the attitude of living in this collapsed world.

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Another important point which supports the narrator’s opinion was the existence of the traveling symphony and another important character, Kirsten. Not like the other people, they did not give up on hope for the future world. Even the condition was hard for them, they just keep performing the best works left from the previous human society and keep encouraging people which were blinded by the horror of the pandemic. They used some essences especially the beautiful works from Shakespeare to light up the atmosphere of hopeless in the world and take people out from the darkness. As Kirsten said, “We long only to go home, we dream of sunlight, we dream of walking on earth.” (302) What it mean here is that surviving for a short period does not make a difference from death, other than just surviving, it’s better to have the hope and work a little on it, continue living with your pursues and willing to make a change during your survival period, some people had never lost their hope on a brighter future.

Reflection

I am trying to redefine the meaning of surviving based on the story of Miranda, the Traveling symphony, Frank and Jeevan and Kirsten. First I will do some analysis on the behaviors of different characters which related to the idea of the point to survive. My central idea is going to be living but not just surviving. I will continue working on my body paragraph structure and make it more clear, straight to the point and avoid the repetition. Then I will try to analysis how the experiences of Kirsten and things did by the Traveling symphony support my opinion.

 

To Survive and To Thrive

Here are my first three paragraphs of what will possibly, but not surely, be my essay for Station Eleven. 

Surviving in this world is held as a number one priority for anyone; it is why we wake up each morning/night and set off on our routines for work and/or school, which provide us with the funds to survive. But solely surviving can’t be our only tasks as evolving human beings living on such a wondrous planet with endless possibilities; we create, invent, innovate, enlighten, and inspire others. In Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel proposes a world in which modern day humans acclimate to a post-pandemic environment. With the regress of civilization in effect, Mandel presents the essence of what it truly means to survive through the actions of different protagonists like Kirsten and Clark. Mandel probes the significance behind the statement “because survival is insufficient” by instituting a newer meaning: surviving is preserving.

After the prominent fall of mankind caused by the Georgia Flu, the planet is an empty shell of abandoned structures, cars and homes. The majority of Georgia Flu survivors have maintained the mindset of simply surviving and remaining alive, while a group of former musicians, actors/actresses, and artists come together and form The Traveling Symphony in efforts to enlighten the darkness that now existed around them. “Survival is insufficient” is first seen on Mandel 58, as these three words are the prime definition of what the Symphony stands for. These people have dedicated themselves to what beauty and humanity still remained of their previous lives, keeping works of Shakespeare alive after the restart of time and life as they knew it.

The repurposing of buildings and items is very prevalent in Station Eleven, but what Clark initiates on Mandel 254 signifies his version of putting deeper meaning into the words “survival is insufficient”. With its first pieces being a seemingly useless iPhone, a couple of identification cards and an Amex, The Museum of Civilization is born and brought to life. These items were now artifacts of a historical point in time when they were held to high value. “He stood by the case and found himself moved by every object he saw there, by the human enterprise each object had required”, (Mandel 255).

 

Reflection:

I am not one to plan an essay out for weeks ahead, and I am still contemplating changing my thesis and title as well. My body paragraphs will be much fuller once I work on my actual essay but I don’t think its fair for an “outline” to be perfect. My second idea aside from providing pieces from the novel that show how surviving is insufficient, was to make this essay about how loss institutes new and innovative beginnings, or how loss gives survival a new definition. Aside from my indecisiveness, this draft is subject to change completely and I am still trying to find a thesis I can stick with and pull multiple pieces of evidence from the text for.

Survival Isn’t All One Needs: Memories Are Necessary.

Introduction:

The word Survival can mean many things to many people. In Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, surviving was not equal to living. That surviving was some how less than living. With this Idea in mind one would have to ask; What does it means to survive Isn’t living, alone, proves one’s survival or is there is more to it? In Station Eleven, we are lead to believe that there is more to living than survival. That just merely surviving isn’t living.

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Station Eleven’s story is all about doing more than just surviving. One of characters, Kirsten, have the words “Survival is insufficient…tattooed on her left forearm” (120). The traveling Symphony have words on their lead van that say “Because survival is insufficient” (58).The meaning of these words are part of the theme and tone that is set through out the book.Which helps us, the readers, to understand why some of the characters held on to some of the things that they use to help them live in the new world that surrounds them. For, example, the Traveling Symphony and Shakespeare’s play.

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The Traveling Symphony were a group of actors and musicians who migrates from town to town to put on shows by acting out Shakespeare’s plays. They do this to give the the town’s people something good from the past. Because of the Traveling Symphony moving from town to town, it seems,that the ability to be able to entertain others and to travel is more important than to just live. By, holding on to the theater arts, it has giving Kirsten and the rest of the traveling group a reason to live. Acting gives them something else to think about instead of being constantly focus on all that was taken away from them 20 years ago.

 

 

Reflection

I am just starting out with this essay. I am currently making an outline to help me along with this essay. I am thinking and re-thinking about the title and thesis for this essay, wondering if I should change anything. It has been awhile since my last English class to this one, so I am a little rusty on writing a well written essay. I am nervous and willing to see this through.

Crowdsourcing Claims

Since we didn’t have time for every group to present in class today, we’ll be continuing here with “virtual presentations.” To make your presentation, each group should comment here with their work and what they want to communicate to the class.

Only one person per group needs to comment (and only one comment per group!), but please make sure that at the top of your comment, you list each group member, so that everyone gets credit for their work.

A reminder: a quick overview of your chapters, two claims, with three pieces of evidence per claim (provide a quote, analysis, and connection to your overall point). Your goal is have focus, make an argument, and to synthesize your discussion.

Please get the comments up here by W 10/25 by 5pm.

Class Discussion #7: “People’s Choice Posts” for ‘Station Eleven,’ Parts 7-9

We’ve finally finished Station Eleven, and here’s your chance to reflect on the entire novel and your classmates’ responses to it.

Read through all reading response blogs for Station Eleven, Parts 7-9, choose a favorite post, and explain your rationale for choosing it. Then share the post/excerpt/rationale by “commenting” here on this post. Don’t forget to link to the post you are citing (you can now hyperlink comments rather than just copying/pasting the URL: give it a shot!).

Comments should be made no later than Wednesday, 10/25, and the one with the most votes will earn the coveted “People’s Choice” honor! As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose, and why. Happy reading 🙂

Living, but not just surviving

Through part seven to part nine,  the narrator stated how people from different groups struggled to survive under the huge destruction of Georgia Flu. The civilization of human beings seemed to be collapsed, but fortunately it was not totally destroyed under some people’s hard working. Even though this disaster created an incalculable damage to the Earth and the legacy of human civilization, but humanity was not gone yet. The Traveling Symphony seemed to be the brilliance of the world, they tried their best by using great works left Shakespeare to light up those people who felt like living undersea. They spread the thought about living is not just for living.

It is good to see that the Traveling Symphony who was trying to use Shakespeare’s works to encourage those people under the sorrow of losing their home, but this job was not that easy  since they were targeted by an evil man named Prophet. As we know, the fight between people was always occur since human appeared in this world. Especially in such a condition, different personalities will always exposed. The traveling Symphony was trying change the way people thought with their hard working, however at this moment, the prophet was going against with them for his own benefits. Everyone has a different way to live, and prophet chose this way for his survival. Finally under a little talk in the woods, the young boy finally found out the real identity of the prophet, he decided to kill the prophet and commit suicide after because he felt guilty upon the way he used to live by following the prophet.

There were many aspects which showed that the world was not ended yet. One of the main character, Clark created a museum which storage many legacy left by the previous world. Many people were survived and continued living in the airport area. Even though there was no plane flew upon the sky anymore, but there were still lives living in the world. As Clark saw the actual contents from the comic book made by Miranda, we can see that she still has many expectation on  the future world, and it express a sense of it should not be just about surviving but living.

When people were still struggling for surviving, the Traveling Symphony brought a light which lights up those people who still living under darkness or the nightmare from the Georgia Flu, Jeevan tried his best to recreate a town with electricity which brought hopes to Kirsten and Clark and some other survivors.  They all spreading a sense that if you survived, don’t just continue struggle for survival but think about how to live in the later days and dream a little on the future, because living is not just living!

To Live and Die by the Sword of Faith

After reading the last of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, the final three parts made me think of a few things. The post-apocalypse setting of the world can transform people in various ways. It shows how humans react to a multitude of dynamic changes and what they’re capable of when pushed to or even beyond their physical and mental limits. The world following the Georgia Flu forces survivors to question their existence and doubt what they believe in. It’s in times of adversity, like the Georgia Flu, where people are defined by their actions and feelings before, during, and after the conflict.

Clark Thompson lives in two distinct dimensions. He exists in a world that’s within another world. As indicated in the text, “Toward the end of his second decade in the airport, Clark was thinking about how lucky he’d been. Not just the mere fact of survival, which was of course remarkable in and of itself, but to have seen one world end and another begin.” (231). His new home, the Severn City Airport, combines possibly the best of what’s left of the old and new realms. It’s a haven of hope and a refuge for remnants. It’s like a phoenix, rising from the ashes to not only rebuild civilization to its former glory, but also to adapt to the post-collapse world. The Museum of Civilization is an archive within the airport that contains compilations of artifacts from the pre-collapse world. Clark essentially becomes an archivist or archaeologist, the keeper of the former world’s history. The one artifact in the museum that has the most value to him is a newspaper that mentions his dear friend, Arthur Leander.

There’s no doubt that Arthur plays an integral role in the entire story. Everything about Arthur, over the course of his life, is made evident to readers prior to the Georgia Flu. His past sheds light on some of the other characters and unravels what lies ahead in the wake of the flu epidemic. Arthur is practically synonymous with Hollywood. He’s a very successful and popular (even renowned) actor in L.A. However, Arthur’s career precedes not only his family and friends, but also himself. During the final moments of his life, he feels guilt and sadness, regretting the mistakes and wrongdoings he made over the years. In that moment of reflection, Arthur attempts to make amends. One of the wrongs he tried to make right was build a better relationship with his son, Tyler.

Kirsten and Tyler are two opposites of each other. They have some similarities in common though. Arthur has had an impact on both of their lives. Although he’s Tyler’s father, Arthur is a friend and also a father figure to Kirsten. However, because Kirsten had more time with Arthur than Tyler did in their childhood, that could have determined the type of person that each became as an adult.  Both Tyler and Kirsten are about the same age, growing up in the aftermath of the Georgia Flu. From Arthur they each receive copies of the Station Eleven comic books, which were inspirational to them. One difference is that unlike Kirsten, who remembers little of her youth, “Whatever else the prophet had become, he’d once been a boy adrift on the road, and perhaps he’d had the misfortune of remembering everything.” (304). Even though both struggle to come to terms with the way things are in the post-collapse world, Kirsten’s outlook is more realistic than Tyler’s, which is more idealistic. Tyler never truly had a close-knit family or friends like Kirsten does with the Symphony. His mother, Elizabeth, and his religious associates guided him down a path of achieving optimism through pessimistic times and methods. Thus Tyler became the prophet. He sought to restore the world to what it was like before the pandemic. His ideas rested solely on creating an ideal utopia for the benefit of everyone. But the measures he took to try to ensure that were too irrational and extreme. Ultimately, Tyler (the prophet) paid the price. To sow what you reek is to live and die by the sword.

Part 8 made me realize that Kirsten and Tyler are dark reflections of each other. They’re the two opposite ends on the spectrum of light versus darkness or good against evil. Is it possible that if Tyler could go so far astray, could the same happen to Kirsten? Would she end up being like him if she didn’t have the fortunes that were absent from the prophet? These are questions that I feel are worth wondering about after reading the novel.