Class Discussion #5: “People’s Choice Posts” for ‘Station Eleven,’ Parts 2-3


It’s that time again! Read through all reading response blogs for Station Eleven, Part 2-3, choose a favorite post, and explain the 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, 10/11, 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

30 thoughts on “Class Discussion #5: “People’s Choice Posts” for ‘Station Eleven,’ Parts 2-3

  1. Nickolas

    I liked Ita’s blog because I agree with some of what she said. “One of the most crucial parts of Mandel’s Station Eleven is the change over time, change is consistently a focal point throughout the chapters and it’s presence is indispensable to the plot in the story.” (Ita). “Everything is intertwined and if we can understand the past and connect it to the present then the space between then and now becomes clearer.”(Ita).

    The Space Between Then and Now

    I also liked Kina’s blog because she compared Arthur Leander and the prophet to Jesus. She noted that there are “religious undertones” in the novel.

    All that is left is a symphony

  2. Jeffrey Liang

    The Blog post that I decided to choose is Kina‘s blog post. As for why I chose it, she related the novel to religion and how she related Arthur to potentially being a messiah in Station Eleven. I found this interesting because it gave me a different view point of seeing the story which I didn’t notice at first until after reading her blog post.

  3. Gemanna

    Daniel, you blog was truly my favorite. Your words matched my thought process exactly while reading Station Eleven, and your description of the time travel that readers endure in each part of the novel is perfect! Exactly like a pendulum, we are given specific pieces to a puzzle in no chronological order. These pieces are vital moments in time and as unfavorable as Part 3 may be, Mandel significantly lets us in on Arthur Leander’s previous life for a reason. Mandel first places us pre-pandemic during Act 4 of King Lear in Toronto, then we shift post pandemic and get a glimpse of America’s remnants with its human inhabitants nearly extinct from the flu, followed by Mandel sending us into retrograde with Part 3, a vision of Arthur Leander’s past life as a Hollywood start and unfaithful husband.
     “The plot in Station Eleven shifts in time, swinging over and back like a pendulum: pre-pandemic, post pandemic, pre-pandemic, post pandemic, woven into a braid of contrasts….contrasts …of what?: life before and life after, we have, we have not, we have!, we have not! …..what? …modernity, technology, yes! Technology. Like ungrateful children we are awash in technology which we take for granted but do not appreciate. ‘This was during the final month of the era when it was possible to press a series of buttons on a telephone and speak with somebody on the far side of the earth’ (30). The pain of isolation is undoubtably the greatest pain that the loss of technology could bestow upon me”, (Daniel, Par 2).
     I also really liked when Daniel mentioned how Arthur left his home island of Delano and chased his significance through fame and stardom only to have perished under plastic snow at age 53, as witnesses wonder if he even had family members they should call with the news of his passing. This itself could explain the outcome and consequences of his affair while with Miranda, and maybe other wrongdoings we have yet to read about on Arthur’s behalf.
     Below is a link to Daniel’s great blog:

  4. Calvin Ly

    I liked Penina’s interpretation of Kirsten’s interview at the end of Part 3. Even after the end of civilization, some people strive to record events to be preserved for future generations to learn about. I agreed with Penina’s reading of Kirsten’s descriptions of the world of being symbolic of the collapse of culture. After the pandemic, humanity has been reduced to its basest nature(s), and all the good and bad that comes along with it. There are some who desperately try to cling to the old world such as the Traveling Symphony, who are a group that produces musicals and plays for the surviving population to remind people what humanity has been capable of. In the Symphony’s in their eyes, “survival is insufficient”.

  5. Kina

    “I cannot even imagine living through two eras of completely differing times like Kirsten did, as she can barely remember what a computer screen looks like let alone her own mothers face and her street address on Mandel 40. Interestingly, Kirsten has flashes of memory retaining Arthur Leander, “a fleeting impression of kindness and gray hair”, (Mandel 41). Kirsten remembering Arthur but scarcely remembering her own mother reveals the essence of those days and how much working in that production really meant to her. Kirsten also memorizes the rare comic books in her possession gifted to her by Arthur himself, which she holds very close as if it were the absolute  last piece of her life.”

    I have picked this as my favorite excerpt because I, too, can’t imagine living in a world that is totally new to me. Where everything that I have known and people that I loved are gone. I also like how Gemanna said “Kirsten also memorizes the rare comic books in her possession gifted to her by Arthur himself, which she holds very close as if it were the absolute last piece of her life.” Because, to me, that is what her memory of Arthur and those comic books that he have given to her are. They are her “last piece of her life” at least of her past life. Of her life when she had her family and Arthur who was her friend. Arthur’s death was the point of drastic changes in her life. A life now, where she can barely remember her past and the most important memory to her is the one of Arthur because he is her link to the past and to the things that make her feel like she has something to remember so she can have a reason for wanting live and for her love acting.

    Here is a link to Gemanna’s blog

  6. Kainat Ali

    I liked Stevens post because that actually is how I felt while reading these two parts. I did like that we continued into the future but the backstory? I can see why people like how the missing pieces are being put into place now because of the backstory. However keeping track of whats the present or past does get slightly annoying. I like that the story is moving forward but the continuous flashbacks are not my favorite.

  7. Heder Pastuizaca

    I chose Kainat Ali’s post because of her paragraph at the end off her post. I agree with “sometimes you are just not welcomed or a part of a place the way you might have though you were.” and I like some of the characters in the book, I also question myself and wonder were I belong. Many things change and we are forced to adapt or escape… Not an easy choice for some.

    1. Jill Belli Post author

      Heder, every week, you post the same response multiple times. I have been deleting duplicate comments, but going forward, can you please just submit your response once (and if it accidentally posts more than once, go in and delete any duplicates)? Thanks.

  8. Jordan JP

    I didn’t have time to go through everyone’s posts, but Gemanna’s post, The Aftermath: Year 20 is by far the one I enjoyed reading the most. She basically took most of the important moments from the story and found some way to connect the dots between them. I agree with most of her claims and her point of view on Station Eleven. An example of a moment where I could relate to what she was saying, is when she said, “This line helped me visualize the rawness of the scene and how set back mankind was because of this epidemic; using remnants of a world they once lived in to survive in the world that existed now” (Gemanna 1). I had a similar thought when I read that part.

  9. Dheeraj Surujprasad

    When I was reading, I liked Samuels blog which stood out a little. One thing I liked was his use of external images to further display and discuss his points of the blog. One of the images being from a film named “Utawarerumono Itsuka no Kamen”, I liked how he referred back to shows/films that he knows more about to help describe his thoughts about what was going on in the book. I also really liked his final paragraph where he sums up what he’s mostly writing about here “We see a nameless inventor trying to rebuild the technology they had, and we see doomsday cult who believe in rebuilding their civilization to paradise for themselves through dark methods.” It’s one of the lines that really sums up how everyone has a dream to restore their world to a point where they felt was it as whether it be good or bad.

    Link to Samuels Blog:

  10. Cristian

    I enjoyed reading Daniel’a post of Station Eleven parts 2-3. I liked how you also felt the author was taking us on a sort of ride back and forth between the so called present and past. You mentioned it being like an pendulum and reading back those chapters I found myself thinking of that word. Your post was insightful and gave perescpective on the reading and gave me something else to look at when re-reading the two parts again.


  11. Blanca Borquez

    I chose stevens’s blog because of how he expresses his opinions and the way it just brings out what you think during each part. At least for me it does. “Kirsten was just another no name, and somewhat shy child actress but now, shws a young woman who is part of a traveling theater group called The Symphony.” (Jean Pt 2)

    In a way it opens up your eyes and makes you think that it’s true. The little girl that Jeevan was talking to waiting for Tanya to show up and get her is now this strong woman that has survived an apocalypse, has tattoos, carries knives in her belt and all.  Yet she is still kind hearted.


    Now for part 3 I may have to disagree with stevens because he said it was boring. Like what? Really? I liked part 3 much better than part two. There was drama to keep things interesting. Everything is connected and we see it through part 3.


  12. Daniel

    1) I choose Ita Flores because of her finely tuned perception.                                                         ( sure as heck is better than mine!) 

    2) I would also like to comment on Gemanna’s writing style (see below).


    Change in people, thoughts, and society in Station Eleven seems  to reflect off of each other. One of the most crucial parts of Mandel’s Station Eleven is the change over time, change is consistently a focal point throughout the chapters and it’s presence is indispensable to the plot in the story“….I am still rapping my mind around this idea……it needs to soak in a bit before I can say exactly why it appeals to me, but it does, I just need to catch up with it.

    One of the most telling lines in part three in regards to time is “Arthur wasn’t having dinner with a friend […] so much as having dinner with an audience. He felt sick with disgust. […] Thinking about the terrible gulf of years between eighteen and fifty.” (p.112) These lines are so incredibly compelling because“…..I also find this quote to be compelling, but for a different reason. The quote concisely defines Arthur’s fatal flaw: He is so self centered and self serving that he is incapable of seeing anyone except himself. For this reason he can never know true love, he cannot grow as a person and he can never be truly happy. He is trapped inside his narcissistic love of self.

    Overall, parts two and three give us a bigger sense of change in both the past and the present. The novel is told through narratives of the most relevant people in the story, this clues us in as to who to pay attention to more because their story and point of view is given more presence over another “….now why can’t I come with an idea life that!…Kudos! Ita.


    I would also like to comment on Gemanna’s writing style. Gem simply has a way with words. Her writing is smooth and balanced:

    The gears of mankind were grinding slowly but surely with the help of the Traveling Symphony” I think of the horses pulling the old pickups and this description fits that idea perfectly.

    With only ruins and pieces of the humanity they had once been a part of, they were left to face the emptiness of what was ahead; they were left on square 1 of life….”

    “….Surviving the pandemic wasn’t enough for them, and spreading the arts and creativity of artists and authors from their world before the Flu was so significant to their existence” this is, for me, the essence of “Survival is insufficient




  13. Stevens Jean

    Samuel’s   post made me think of of the cult in specific way. Hey made the statement that nothing ever good can come from a paradise made by the ideals of a doomsday cult. I didn’t necessarily agree with it but, it made me ask my self what is considered a “good” sort of society and who decides it’s very definition. I mean, there’s a chance that the cult group (if they do rebuild their own sort of utopia) may create a society that they may think is good or perfect but, that perception may not be the same when looking at it through the eyes of other individuals. I don’t know, i guess what i’m trying to say is that, whether or not a created society is good or not totally depends on the individual if anything. I mean, a society  created by these group of people can be something unlike any other society that have been made before. and maybe that difference might give it a bit of a different totally different perception to those who have only experienced one sort of society. But then, again, i guess one’s willingness to have an open mind when it comes to experiencing different things or sensing different sorts of stigma may have a somewhat different and potentially a more positive perspective on it. OK, i’m not entirely sure where i’m going with this but, i think the point i’m trying to make is the definition of good when it comes to a society may differ…i think..


    exerpt: A doomsday cult is used to describe a group of people who believe in apocalypse. In post-apocalypse setting, a doomsday cult focus on rebuilding civilization to a paradise they invisioned, but this paradise can bring no good, only horrors awaits. 

  14. Penina

    I really liked Jeffery’s blog. He mentions group work and influences, which is very important in such chaotic situations. He had great opening to his blog, “Having read through the latest sections of Emily Mandel’s Station Eleven, it makes me wonder how groups effect people and how they act when put in a similar situation to the other characters in the world. With everything in the world which has pretty much regressed back to how life was like in the past when using horse drawn carriages was modern at the time and where groups travel together as a caravan. I believe that the groups that people associate with effect how people act in the long run.”


    Group Influence

  15. Terry_L

    I liked the blog post from Kainat. She breaks down the two parts of reading and put in deeper analysis on it. First she summarized the main idea from the two parts of readings in the first paragraph. I agree with her on the sentence of  “The only thing that has not changed is the feeling of not belonging” (Kainat.) It was sure that this feeling was spread in part 2, people seemed to not able to find anywhere they belong after the outbreak of Georgia Flu. Fear was the thing which fill people’s heart the most. Finally she ended up her post with “Things change, people can’t always adapt” (Kainat.) This is true, because whenever something serious happen, such as a disaster, many people just don’t realize it very quick or they will try to fix it but many times end up with disappointments  and complains behind.

  16. Crsoto

    I chose this blog because the moment in the story of Part 2 he chose to write about had completely flown over my head, maybe it was because i did the reading in one sitting and I started to draw blanks throughout the reading but the idea of someone trying to access the internet in this type of situation is amazing !

    The dragon is dead

  17. Taisha Rivera

    I chose to this blog because I liked how clearly the main idea of both parts was summarized and it was very descriptive. I also agree with the last sentence that states.”Whether it be the past or the present, sometimes you are just not welcomed or a part of a place the way you might have thought you were. Things change. People can’t always adapt.” this sentence was well said and in my opinion, great.

  18. Jill Belli Post author

    Thanks for all the votes/thoughtful responses. This week it was 5-way tie (I’m loving the diversity of people’s impressions/choices!) … congrats to all our winners: Kina, Kainat, Daniel, Stevens, & Gem 🙂


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