Category Archives: Station Eleven

Humans are a pretty powerful race now that i think about it

It seems like the human race even in stories such as these seem to be pretty darn resourceful regardless of the cruddy hand reality decides to give them. They’re able to survive in almost any scenario be it world ending or not and somehow rebuild their ideal society from the ground up. Tenacious progress seems to be the term that rightfully describes the human condition and this book does not spare a moment to drive that point home at every turn. From the beginning, i’m sure many readers thought that the human race would practically be finished the second they found out about the flu virus but, like almost every other post apocalyptic story, the human race finds a way to survive regardless of the odds. In part two, after the flu pandemic passed, we see people, making small communities in places such as restaurants, gas stations etc. People helping each other for the sake of survival. In part 7 (which takes place a few years before the beginning of part two) at the airport, we see a community of people who are comprised of individuals who don’t even speak the same language. And yet, somehow, they’re able to each each other their own languages to better help them communicate(obviously) The new found skill of communication also helped them conduct search parties and also hunt with one another. Believe it or not, humans are societal creatures, and the the multiple group of communities such as the post incident settlements, the symphony and the religious post apocalyptic group which is lead by the prophet (who we later find out is actually Arthur’s son, Tyler) and many others groups in this makes this point loud and clear.

Humans can do a great many things when it comes to surviving but, That isn’t all they’re able to do. Heck, Surviving is like, step one of the the Human agenda when it comes to Living. Surviving is important mind you but as The symphony’s motto goes “Survival is Inefficient”. Survival on it’s own isn’t what human beings ultimately work to obtain. They go out of there way to express themselves in ways that they see fit. The expressive and artistic sort live their lives through art, music, philosophy, religion. The more curious individuals try to understand the world they live in be it from past or present. Science, history, archaeology and more are their ideal way to live. The inventive sort go out of there way to figure out how they can use knowledge to improve their society for the better. All of these ideologies are present with in groups like the symphony, Tyler’s religious group the museum of civilization and even the city of lights that we see at the very end of the book.

THIS IS THE END OF MY RESPONSE. THE WRITING UNDERNEATH IS JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION OF A SPECIFIC CHARACTER. READING IT ISN’T MANDATORY.

OK, now that i got my main thoughts out of the way, i kind of want to go into a small rant here. Why in god’s name am i still hearing about Arthur? I mean, don’t get me wrong, i know why the story has to bring him up. He’s basically the central figure in the web of stories each important character has. He ties everyone together which is why he comes up as often as he does but…. Why did the author decide the central figure to be Arthur of all people. In my honest opinion, Arthur has to be one of the least interesting characters of the whole entire story. He’s basically a person who rose from his humble beginning of being a no named actor to being a super famous movie/TV star. His story is as generic as they come when it comes to celebrity life stories, be it from reality or fictional stories. Most of what he’s gone through is the kind of thing you see other celebrities go through all the time. And it’s because of this generic life story he leads that makes him into an extremely uninteresting person. I mean, Here’s a brief synapse of Arthur’s life. He grew up in a small island off the coast of Vancouver. He then moves to Toronto to study in a university then dropped out to become an actor. He then meets Clark who later leaves to go to England and (OK, well this part isn’t all that important so let’s just move on) Arthur then moves to New York, gets a part in law and order, then gets more parts in small movies. He later faces the dilemma of dealing with fame. At first he doesn’t like all the attention he gets then later get’s used to it. He then meets Miranda, marries her than divorces her, then he marries another woman has a kid and divorces her and, yadda, yadda, yadda. His story isn’t anything special or interesting. If anything, He just seems like another generic celebrity whose main purpose was to show us what being famous was is like. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate. Arthur because he’s a generic celebrity. I honestly don’t care all that much about the fact. What i am annoyed with is the fact that he’s basically the central character of the entire plot of the story. he’s always being mentioned in almost every single chapter. The story tries it’s hardest to make it seem like he’s this very interesting, important and deep character when in reality, he very much isn’t. Heck, i’d even go as far as to say that Miranda was more interesting than him and that’s only because of her graphic novel, Station Eleven. I personally would have loved it if Jeevan, Frank or even Kirsten were the main central figures of the story.Now, as of this point you may be asking to yourself, “why? Why choose these three characters?” Well, this is simple. Jeevan seems to have had a pretty varied and somewhat hectic life when it came to him deciding what he truly wanted to do in life. Frank’s character from his potentially interesting back story right down to his priorities when it comes to how much he values his own brother over himself. And Kirsten? Being told in great detail on how she managed to grow and adapt to her current environment from a lonesome child to a fearsome woman actress traveling with a caravan of musicians and actors would have been such much more of an interesting backstory than Arthur’s. Now, i know that none of these characters can fit the role of central character in a story such as this because of the different characters there are and the relationship that each holds. This is because of the fact that the one person connecting all of the characters together is Arthur but, if the story was somehow told in a way where one of the previously 3 mentioned characters were considered central plot devices and therefor have story be told around of them then, I would have personally liked the story much, much more. Oh, also. The prophet was Arthur’s son!? Come on! The author can’t just shoe horn Arthur’s decedents in our face as well. Why couldn’t the Prophet be someone else. The Prophet could have been some guy who had parents who died during the flue pandemic. Honestly, his character would have been much improved if he had no relation to Arthur whatsoever. Now that i know that he’s Arthur’s son, i can only see him as another forced link to Arthur so the whole “Everyone is connected” theme can be solidified even more than it had.

PS: This ended up becoming a much longer rant than i had previously thought. Sorry.
PSS: I know i made a rant about Arthur before but, that prophet identity reveal left a somewhat sour taste in my mouth.

Closing the Curtain

We come to a conclusion in Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel as Kirsten’s sign of her tattoos isn’t to show that she is violent and we also find out that the prophet/Tyler has been gathering ammunition. This all ties back to the quote “Survival is insufficient” (Mandel 119). We see that the Prophet wants to  prepare for arms and will do anything to get what he wants including holding others hostage or shooting people.

This reminds me of The Walking Dead, where a character named Negan (the antagonist), and he will do do anything to harm many of the protagonist’s friends, Rick. He will murder, he will raid, he will take whatever he wants all in order to assert his dominance to the survivors. He killed two of Rick’s friends to prove his point that he isn’t messing around and that easily bent Rick’s will for a long time. Negan showed no mercy and even took everyone’s guns/bullets just so that Rick’s group will never be able to take action against him and the saviors.

Why can’t these kinds of stories have peace instead of conflict. If this ever happened, why can’t man just get along with another person. There doesn’t need to be this much drama happening. Everyone is facing this messed up reality and it only takes just a little to bend someone’s will. “Tell me what happened,” he said, mostly to distract Edward. The prophet happened” (271). Everyone is on the edge and Edward’s wife was just shot by the Prophet. Edward fears that Jeevan has no idea what he is doing but, regardless Jeevan assures his case that he was the closest thing that the camp has. Majority of the population has fallen due to the Georgia Flu and everything is a mess.

Arthur’s role in the story may be bigger than we first imagined. At first I thought that Arthur was just some guy who died and had no purpose after that. But we can see the impact he has on the many people of the story. Kirsten’s constant reminders of when he died on stage, Jeevan being unable to save Arthur because his lack of knowledge, Miranda, the other two wives (Elizabeth) and of course the prophet himself. Arthur wasn’t in his life most of the time and realizes too late that he wanted to be around his son’s life. In the end, he died alone and many people didn’t like him.

In conclusion, violence is just part of surviving to protect oneself. But those with authority abuses their power to “protect” their sanity.

apocalypse in station 11

The final chapters of Station Eleven finally disclose the past of the prophet.  The prophet ends up being Tyler, Arthur Leander’s son, who started showing warning signs on page 260 where he is “reading aloud to the dead from the book of Revelation.”  This is ironic for two reasons, the first being the original name of that book of the Bible, while the other is the fact that the prophet is very likely an allusion to the second beast of the book of revelation who is sometimes referred to as the false prophet.  The first time we might be able to see the connection is when, on page 53 of Station Eleven, they find a grave yard with grave markers without disturbed soil.  While they were not exactly killed it echos the book of revelation which says that the second beast breathed life into an image “so that the image could talk and put to death all those who would not worship it.”(Revelation 13:15)  While this could be that the prophet could just represent the second beast, there is also a chance that the prophet could also be representative of the first beast.  There might be those that claim that it can not be as the sign on page 260 talks about the destruction of Babylon something that was divine judgement.  To that I point out Revelation 17:16 as well as Revelation 18:4  these passages show that while God approves it is the Beast with it’s 10 horns that destroys Babylon along with the fact that God tells his people to get out of the city as to not get cought in the punishment of the city.  As this is incredibly depressing I thought I would leave on a more comedic line.  The picture below looks like nature is speaking to you; until you realize that you have to constantly walk up stairs to get home

Death

Finishing the novel Station Eleven by Emily Mandel, I really enjoy the how the adventures of the Traveling Symphony has gone through to the ending. The whole setting of the apocalypse has set realistic situations that can happen. Especially when people die, one possibility is if they commit suicide. Another is if they kill someone to survive, to protect someone, or forcing you to do it. 

Committing suicide in a apocalyptic world. If we go back to Chapter 23, we remember that some of the members of The Travelling Symphony are starting to go missing. Most of the group believe they are lost. This is the clarinet goes missing and leaves a note, “Dear friends, I find myself immeasurably weary and I have gone to rest in the forest” (Chapter 23). The group honestly did believe that she commits suicide. She was apparently close to one of the missing members. Imagine you are thinking that something awful happen to your love one then you would be distress. These emotions can be worse during an apocalypse. Where the human population is low and the chances of surviving is slim, there might not be a reason to continue. The group’s motto is “Because survival is insufficient” (Chapter 10),their motto means that you must find a reason to live. The moment where your purpose to live is no longer present that might cause you have to feeling to die. Another incident is where the boy kills him self near the end of chapter 50.This is a situation where the Prophet and his group found Kirsten and is about to kill her. Before the Prophet kills Kirsten, the boy fires his hand gun at the Prophet’s protecting Kirsten and then kills himself (Chapter 50). It was during this time that the boy has learn that the Prophet is an evil being and has found the courage to fight against his rule. When the boy kills himself it shows how guilty and/or confuse he is when he was talking to Sayid, who is capture in the woods at the time. This shows that the apocalypse can have a huge impact in the minds of young children.

There times when you need to kill. Living in the apocalypse can be very difficult especially when you might need to kill someone. This task can be very hard on a young boy. In chapter 49, the boy is having a conversation with Sayid, when Sayid is capture in the woods, that he must follow the orders of the Prophet. “What choice do I have? You know this… this time we live in, you know how if forces a person to do things”(Chapter 49). The boy reveals his feelings of how terrible his actions are. He enforces that he must enact do them survive, at least since his has to follow the prophet’s orders. Once again, this shows that the apocalypse can have a huge impact in the minds of young children.

Living life in the apocalypse is full of violence. In order to survive you have to go through many experiences where you have to make man choices. Many of your choices can lead you to death.

How would you take on the world?

In the final parts & chapters of the novel Station Eleven by Emily ST. John Mandel, it is towards the ending of the book and we start to uncover some of the final and missing details of to the story. We start to read into finer details of how everyone lived their life in the new world after the collapse of society. It’s also revealed in some parts of what happened during the outbreak and afterward how people learned to live as such in the Airport. We first lean into Clark’s life at the airport after the collapse of the world, and later onto Kirsten’s life via an interview with Francois and a glimpse into the life of the Jeevan and later the Prophet.

In part 8 of the novel, we are opened to Clark’s view of the situation at hand. He is now situated in an Airport, long after the outbreak in around year fifteen for the most part of the story. Clark starts off by reminiscing the past world, explaining things that existed before that he misses at times. It is written in Part 7 of the novel, “And not just to have seen the remembered splendors of the former world, the space shuttles and the electrical grid and the amplified guitars, the computers that could be held in the palm of a hand and the high-speed trains between cities, but have to lived among those wonders for so long.” (Mandel, 232) This stands out to me because I started to think about myself, what would I do if we were to go into a pandemic and were to lose everything we have today. I am a person that is highly into technological advancements, the feeling of not being around technology such as the internet, smartphones, computers, robots, etc. would feel very weird for myself and wouldn’t know what I’d do to interest my time. For someone like myself, I don’t feel like I could survive something like this. Reading and imagining the first few days and years past the outbreak, the airport being abandoned by the outside world and losing access to some of the things needed for survival made me look back and what I said when I wouldn’t know how to survive on my own like that. In the real world, we depend on a lot of what we have around us and don’t look back at how people managed to survive without it, we aren’t thought how to survive without technology or any sort of advancements we have today that has become a norm in our life. Something I liked in this same part of the story was for Clarks Museum of items from the past world. He called it the “Museum of Civilization.” Following the mentioning of it, it was written “He mentioned it to no one, but when he came back a few hours later, someone had added another iPhone, a pair of five-inch red stiletto heels, and a snow globe” (Mandel 255). It was nice to see him reminisce for the items lost from the past world and to see others start to add in things of their own that the had with themselves or found that they loved. It was also very loving to see Clark very caring for those that were situated in the airport and for those time was very welcoming towards the fact that this is where he is at now, the start of a new world and this is what he’s going to have to deal with going forward. Unlike the close friend of his, Elizabeth, who had seen it the opposite way and thought that everything would revert back to the way it was before.

One thing reading forward into the parts was that it was very shocking to learn of who the Prophet was. When I learned that it was Tyler, Arthur and Elizabeth’s son, on one end I was a bit shocked but to be honest I saw a bit of coming based off of reading an earlier excerpt in the same part of Clark and Tyler in chapter 44. Reading about Tyler’s view reminded me about the Prophet from earlier on, and with him leaving with Elizabeth when a group of religious wanderers had passed by. What Tyler had spoken about with Clark that day though was very similar to the path and following by the Prophet that we’d touched on earlier in the book. One of the things he did though which was marrying multiple wives was very similar to what his Father, Arthur, had done in the past world which was having multiple Ex-Wives & Wives. It’s very intriguing to see Tyler take this part of his father in his role as the Prophet and make it his aim to have multiple wives.

Overall, we see how the collapse affected multiple people in many different ways. We got to read into the after effect on everyone’s lives throughout the entire novel. The author did a good job in alternating between everyone’s views showing the many hardships and even some of the easiest things that each character had to face throughout the book. It also showed how everyone else had their own way of taking on the world and life itself after the collapse and how they made it through no matter what happened even if it involved something negative or positive.

And It All Comes Together

Coming to the end of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel we see how it all connects.

The constant shifting between Arthur’s back story and the world “now” finally makes sense. In previous chapters we already saw how some of characters have already played some role in each others life. But now we really see how everything really does come together. Why Station Eleven the comic was so important.

We already know how most of the characters in the book have crossed paths in each others lives. That is why when we get the backstory in the previous chapters the story does slowly start to unfold for the readers. But can we talk about The Prophet and the comic? Honestly, it caught me so off guard to see that Arthur’s very own son is the one who grew up to become The Prophet. Kirsten finally comes across another version/volume of Station Eleven after Arthurs son, Tyler, is killed. “It was a page torn from a copy of Dr. Eleven, Vol. I, No. I: Station Eleven, the first page of Station Eleven she’d ever seen that hadn’t come from her copies of the books.” (304.)

Further down on page 304 Kirsten says how Tyler was about her age and that he had the “misfortune of remembering everything.” I actually found this so interesting because back in chapter 37 Kirsten says in the interview, “the more you remember, the more you’ve lost.” (195.) She linked it all together. They were around the same age however she didn’t remember too much of the old world whereas he probably did. However both of their versions of the world somehow did revolve around Station Eleven. Kirsten does not even remember her own mother as well as she remembers Arthur. She even continues to hunt down pictures or articles that have to do with him. This is the same man who gave her the comics. She wanted to find the other volumes to those comics. She was invested in those comics and the same goes for Tyler.

The difference between Tyler and Kirsten is that Tyler made Station Eleven his reality. He mixed the comic and religion together. A copy of the New Testament was found in his bag and from within that is where the folded piece of Station Eleven fell out from. On page 261 his mother, Elizabeth, says “everything happens for a reason .. it’s not for us to know” and “we just want to live a more spiritual life.” This is where religion came into play in his life. Tyler lived with his mother, Elizabeth and Arthur had gotten divorced and Elizabeth took him with her. Assuming that Elizabeth was a woman of faith she most likely taught Tyler about religion as well. So what is one to think of that? He quotes from the comic and calls himself The Prophet. Somewhere down the road he got everything mixed up. His beliefs and his interests eventually meshed into one and out came The Prophet.

The danger that was once following The Symphony no longer exists. They can all move forward in their lives. New beginnings without fear. This takes us to page 311 where Kirsten is shown the streets that are lit up with electricity. It was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The Prophet is gone, she is safe, she is reunited with the friend she was looking for this entire time and now civilization is slowly making its way back.

The trinity: Miranda Carroll~Station Eleven~Kirsten Raymonde

I would like to come clean and admit something to y’all; I dislike Science Fiction. I always have. I never liked Isaac Asimov’s writing in my childhood, despite recognizing his genius. I have always felt Science Fiction to be a form of escapism from a reality which is so much more wonderful than anything science fiction could ever cook up. I know that this is a bias on my part but I do not regret it. I know that science fiction is really another way of looking at reality but I do not repent. There! I’ve said it.

That being said and having been brought by karma to English 2001, I must admit that Station Eleven appears to be easier reading than Lolita (Nanokov Vladimir), the English 2001 text from four years ago. My grandfather comes to mind, as he admonished me for not seeing the bigger picture in life: “Count your blessings”. So I count.

Having met with Prof. Belli and having seen my blogs through her eyes, I was determined to introduce much needed structure into my next blog. I decided upon a subject (the narrator’s moral assessment of characters juxtapositioned with the pre-post pandemic eras), gathered and arranged quotes, has ideas for paragraphs and leading sentences, but in so doing I slowly realized that many of the characters in the book are flat and boring. I feel that they cannot be central to what the narrator really wanted to express in Station Eleven and that writing about them at length somehow misses the point. Furthermore this my last opportunity to speak before I must forever hold my peace about Station Eleven.

Miranda Carroll and her comic-book creation “Station Eleven” which is an extension of her character are, I believe, the axis upon which this book revolves. I believe that Jeevan and Arthur, both ostensibly, central characters in the book, are mere two-dimensional projections of real-life characters who were held in high esteem or loved by the narrator, but both have hurt and disappointed her in some way, as they both did in the book.

Arthur humiliated Miranda at their third year wedding anniversary “This time I’ll be damned if the girl hasn’t got her worldly belonging with her”(97)  he recounted their second night together and then, later that night, he flirts with Elizabeth Colton “Arthur thanks everybody for coming to his home, meeting everyone’s eyes except Elizabeth’s, who had lightly touched his thigh under the table, and this is when she [Miranda] understood” (98).

Jeevan Chaudhary, while working the night shift as a paparazzo outside Miranda’s and Arthur’s house in Hollywood Hills on the night of their three year anniversary delivered the coups de grâce to Miranda that night. In the early morning hours, Miranda escaped the pain of the night’s events to ask for a cigarette and some empathy from Jeevan, both of which Jeevan readily supplied. However as she started to return to the house he called to her ““Hey!” Jeevan said suddenly, and as Miranda turns, the cigarette halfway to her mouth, the flash of camera catches her unaware, Five more flashes in quick succession as she drops the cigarette on the sidewalk and walks away from him……In the morning her picture will appear in a gossip website” (103)

Miranda Carroll is one of the few true three-dimensional characters in the book (Kirsten Raymonde being another).We first meet Miranda at age seventeen “.. preternaturally composed and very pretty, pale with grey eyes and dark curls, she comes into the restaurant in a rush of cold air, January clinging to her hair and her coat..”(77). While working at Neptune Logistics we see a more mature, yet not mature, twenty-four-year-old Miranda and her work colleague Thea :  “Thea, who is impeccable in a smooth, corporate way that Miranda admires…..In Thea’s presence [Miranda] feels ragged and unkempt, curls sticking up in all directions, while Thea’s hair is glossy and precise, her clothes never quite right whereas Thea’s clothes are perfect. Miranda’s lipstick is always too gaudy or too dark, her heels too high or too low. Her stockings all have holes in the feet…”(80). This description rings so true that I am sure that it is from real life. It would be so difficult to make it up. This is the voice of the narrator recalling a personal experience.

“The problem is that she is colossally bored with the conversation, and also bored with Pablo,” (85) is also, I believe from a real-life experience.

I repent nothing…Miranda is a person with very few certainties, but one of them is that only the dishonorable leave when things get difficult” (89). Here we see an ambivalence toward herself as she abandons her relationship with Pablo” (89) her failed artist boyfriend. This statement sticks out like a sore (conscience) thumb and also comes, I believe, from a real-life experience.

As she attempts to fit into the lifestyle of a Hollywood wife, we see Miranda struggling with self-doubt “ “I wish you’d try a little harder” Arthur had said to her once or twice, but she knows she’ll never belong here no matter how hard she tries.”(92). This repeats the strong feelings of inadequacy that we see in the quote from line eighty above. Again  “The thing about Hollywood Miranda realizes early on, is that almost everyone is Thea, her former colleague at Neptune Logistics, which is to say that almost everyone has the right clothes, the right haircut, the right everything, while Miranda flails after them in the wrong outfit with her hair sticking up” (96).

We see a true three-dimensional character developed that would be hard to imagine as I believe Miranda is not.

So Miranda divorces Arthur, moves on, develops a business career, meets Arthur again in chapter thirty nine and meets the young Kirsten when she drops off the “Station Eleven” comics. Kirsten will carry the “Station Eleven” torch from this point on. Miranda heads off into the sunset to die of the Georgian Flu in distant Malaysia in chapter forty one,

Kirsten Raymonde is another three-dimensional character. I believe that Kirsten is another extension of the character that is Miranda. However we do not see the same depth in Kirsten that we have seen in Miranda.

When its all said and done

 

In the interview with Francois in year fifteen that Kirsten was giving she is asking him a unique question, then answered “When you think of how the world’s changed in your lifetime, what do you think about?” “I think of killing.”(265)  We see that Kristen has killed people before to survive.Themes of death creates the intensification of the value of life, even the will to murder. Death shows our urge for our life to have purpose, to follow a higher power.

In the entirety of the the novel we see the affect death has on every character and even the setting, but the characters are affected physically and  psychologically.  François has noticed right after the interview that the symphony’s stories are the very similar. “Everyone else died, I walked, I found the Symphony. Or, I was very young when it happened, I was born after it happened, I have no memories or few memories of any other way of living, and I have been walking all my life.”(266) all the people who survived have had the same experience of walking and searching with death all around them. Each time death stared them in the face and they found purpose in the group and keep on the move because staying still is like death.

The survivors often wonder about why they survived they Georgia Flu, the gangs and other things and other people have died who had just the same amount of chance. Survival can move people to search for a higher power and some people far away from these ideas. Religion had a lot to do with the motivation of certain characters like Tyler and Elizabeth,  Elizabeth’s mental state has withered away from seeing the state of the world, Tyler on the other and is getting entrenched in the new testament. Elizabeth never had a chance cause the only person around couldn’t even help himself. ” 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 the Prophet is a complex character because not much is said about him until the end of the novel, when you find out he is Arthur’s son it adds that complex layer of connections, Tyler being Arthur and Elizabeth’s child. What was the purpose for being the prophet? I guess his purpose was to find/create a purpose  because he was so into the idea of being “the light” and spreading “the light” that i think he lost the point, his purpose was supposed to fulfill him not keep him.

The story concludes with a theme that was lacking within most of novel, the theme of hope. Hope and purpose goes against the themes of the earlier parts of the book which is Death and Existentialism, with this we see that the Symphony develop positively as we move thru the book towards its end.  “but it is possible that somewhere there are ships setting out?” (Mandel 332) This quote show s that people all over are setting off to reconquer the land that was once theirs with hope of a new and positive life.

The Flu Caused Chaos

In parts 7, 8, & 9 of  “Station Eleven” By St. John Mandel, we see that throughout the majority of these last few chapters that many people who survived the Flu are dealing with their personal conflicts. For example, they are focused on surviving to maintain stability. Also, whether or not it served a purpose to explain to the children born in the “New World” the difference from before and now, and dealing with other people who are in defense mode and having the belief that their harsh actions are justified because it is for a better purpose. Nowadays, people are focused on survival, but others point significance towards having consideration for those who were killed by the flu, those who once worked to keep the world going round and round. This makes it seem as though the narrator has a personal belief on the matter because of the word “Consider” being consistently used.

Life after the Flu, seeming as though it is a fight day to day because of all of the new conflicts produced from the Flu Clark makes it his business to keep survival the main priority considering he “worked all day at details of survival, hauling the water to the restrooms to keep the toilets operational” (258). Clark seems to feel the need to keep himself busy because life after the Flu seems so unorganized and the only way to head in the direction of hope is to keep himself busy working on something he for sure knows will work towards a new and better life. Based on Clarks efforts to stay busy it can be inferred that this was one of his conflicts, digging himself out of the whole the Flu created labeling surviving one of his main priorities.

McKinley who owned a school had a daughter who “came home crying that afternoon, she wanted to live as long as other people used to” (269). Now as many can logically make the assertion that children were being born post Flu even if in small numbers, one must keep in mind that these children may take the news many different kinds of ways, in this case being a negative response. The daughter sees it as a disadvantage of being alive since she is expected to live a shorter amount of time than usual. This right here makes sense as to why they were over thinking whether to tell the kids or not making this significant because based on whether they tell the kids the news or not depends on how they will or will not endure it leaving room for unexpected thoughts, or even actions.

During the end of the novel, it is said to “Consider the white gloves on the hands of the woman who inserted the snow globes into boxes” (255) as repetition occurs through the usage of the word “Consider”. This to me truly stands out because it shows a sense of being grateful and showing respect towards those who died, showing that their hard work to keep the world moving as long as it did will never be forgotten. This is significant because one would expect people to focus on surviving the Flu, but there are actually people out there who actually remind themselves of people who did such amazing things showing that not everyone in the “New World” is selfish and that the Flu will not easily wipe out such important memories.

Despite the conflicts which described, there were others which seemed to be more life-threatening than any other, the prophets. These are a dangerous group of people who take it to whatever extent it needs to be taken to even death in order to get what they want. Although their actions seem truly radical, it is said they believe that “all of your sufferings, it is all apart of a greater plan” (290) as they kept a smile on their face. This right here reminds me of “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” By Ursula LeGuin. This is because, in this novel “StationEleven”, the prophets believed that what seems negative is in reality for a better purpose the same way that in “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” the child locked in a basement (negative) was in order to keep everyone else alive (positive). 

I also believe that both the prophet smiling and such attractive building in which the small child was put permanently in are both very similar in which they both try to give off a positive impression although the reality within both of them are harsh and cause physical damage to innocent people who just want to live their lives. Throughout this novel, I have learned that although boredom may occur in life because of so many different things to appreciate to always attempt appreciating those things as much as possible because there can be an unexpected time in which a normal life could disappear causing you to wish you were grateful for those very same things that are now within absence. Another thing I learned from this is that times may change but it is up to you to decide what your purpose is and if you actually wanna adapt to the new lifestyle. Despite your decision, life will do its job, move on. 

Because Dying is Insufficient

In the world of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel we have been introduced to time before civilization fell and even to the time before it. In the novel a motto was stated early on that “Because survival is insufficient” (Mandel, 58). The meaning behind this motto is that there must be purpose in life, that just simply surviving and living by the day without goals, hopes, and dreams is not enough to satisfy ones self. Much like the Traveling Symphony that wear this quote on their lead caravan and in their hearts. They don’t just survive, they live valuing what was once good in the world, the old world, and share those values with other survivors in  different towns. Much like Clark who had miraculously survived the Goergia Flu and found safe haven in an airport in Severn city where he stayed for two decades. What he lived for beyond just survival was to put the old world on display for those who come from that old world to appreciate what they once had, and for those of no memories of the old world or those that were born in the new world to learn about these past useful tools and possessions. What he had was a museum of Civilization. ” Clark had always been fond of beautiful objects and in his present state of mind, all objects were beautiful. 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). This was his life now it seems to bring him much joy just collecting things but even if its just for him this can also serve the purpose of teaching the youth with hopes of one day mankind can replicate the technological advancement or even beyond that. Even back in the Old World he found himself staring at a bunch of “Sleep walkers” The people that do nothing but stare at their devices all day just getting through life. This problem of living with meaning was existent even before the New World.

Another man with goals was the Prophet. We find out that the Prophet is Arthur and Elizabeth’s son. He grew up in the new world reading texts of revelation, surrounded by faith worshipers of the new world and the new heaven. The Prophet’s goal was to bring light to the world as he utters the words with his men “the fallen walk among us. We must be the light. We are the light.”(Mandel, 291). This light he refers to is only his own belief of what was right and what was wrong. He was only 8 years old when the world fell apart only paying attention to a handheld device like most kids his age in our era do. He did not know that what he was doing was wrong. His light came with suffering, taking towns and taking women for himself and his worshipers. They wanted to repopulate the world. Actually in my opinion he was not wrong with wanting to repopulate the world it was just how he came about it that was so wrong. Even though the Prophet did a lot of wrong he was not simply surviving, he was working towards a goal so great that he can smile at the face of the enemies that he kills and blackmails.

At last our main protagonist Kirsten meets Clark for the first time and he shows her something that would probably change the new world. Miles down south of the airport the stars are dimmed. “In the distance, pinpricks of light arranged into a grid. There, plainly visible on the side of a hill some miles distant: a town, or a village, whose streets were lit up with electricity.” (Mandel, 311). I absolutely lost it when i read this part because i knew what it meant and I immediately thought about the motto “Because survival is insufficient”. Whoever generated the electricity in that town or village not only survived but had a goal to bring light to world so dark and full of despair. The world was so lucky to have a man or woman or even a group of engineers who know about electricity to come in and have electricity surge back into circuits. What could have came about if they died? How many things could have happened if people did not die? How many things could have been achieved if they did not die? These are the things i asked myself as I finished the novel, of course some people deserved to die like the people who tried to attack the Traveling Symphony in their early years when Kirsten joined, or like the Prophet who brought nothing but more despair. I believe that it is important to keep on living with good intentions and that is when you will meet true satisfaction with yourself.