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.

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