Category Archives: Parts 7-9

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.

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.