After reading the first six chapters, I can say the following. The story is told from third person point-of-view because the narration uses male and female pronouns of the characters. The main character of part 1 appears to be Jeevan Chaudhary because the tale revolves around him.
Part 1 Chapter 1 starts out cold. I use the word “cold” to describe both the setting and the sudden turn of events. It was a winter evening in the Great White North, as indicated in the text. “This was act 4 of King Lear, a winter night at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.” (Part 1, Chapter 1, paragraph 1, 2nd sentence). The Theater saw the curtain call of an actor. Fifty-one years old actor, Arthur Leander, died from a heart attack while performing onstage. His death stunned fellow actors, Jeevan, and other numerous people. They were stricken with grief, especially when having to explain the news to his relatives. Leander’s untimely demise helped to determine the story’s grim atmosphere. It would also foreshadow the downfall of civilization as a result of the epidemic called “the Georgia Flu”.
In chapter 3, Jeevan is informed of the impending disaster by his friend, Hua, a medic who works at Toronto General Hospital. Hua described the flu’s fast, widespread contagion based on what he witnessed in the hospital. Those that were infected quickly got worse and died in short order. Hua urged Jeevan to either evacuate the city immediately or to stock up on food and stay at home. Jeevan planned to stay with his brother, Frank, who’s revealed to be in a wheelchair and lives in a twenty-second floor apartment. Jeevan calls his girlfriend, Laura to warn her.
Jeevan and Laura’s relationship seems like an unhappy one. It seems that Jeevan and Laura don’t get along. For example, “It was still possible at that moment that Arthur was acting, but in the first row of the orchestra section a man was rising from his seat. He’d been training to be a paramedic. The man’s girlfriend tugged at his sleeve, hissed, ‘Jeevan! What are you doing?'” (Part 1, chapter 1, 3rd paragraph). There was no need for Laura to get upset with Jeevan over his decision. She probably knows about his aspiration to be a paramedic. If so, she should understand why he chose to go and help Arthur, who everyone (including her) saw that there was something wrong with him. After that, Jeevan discovered that while he was tending to Arthur, Laura went home without him. “His phone vibrated in his pocket. He stopped to read a text message from Laura: I had a headache so I went home. Can you pick up milk? And here, all momentum left him. He could go no farther. The theater tickets had been intended as a romantic gesture, a let’s-do-something-romantic-because-all-we-do-is-fight, and she’d abandoned him there, she’d left him onstage performing CPR on a dead actor and gone home, and now she wanted him to buy milk.” (Part 1, chapter 1, pages 11 and 12, paragraphs 4 and 5). Even when Jeevan told her about the flu, Laura was more intent on knowing his whereabouts instead of heeding his warning. It obviously seems that Jeevan and Laura are at odds with each other. They lack proper communication which determines how healthy and compatible their relationship is. The flu epidemic would probably further deteriorate their relationship.
In chapter 6, “the Georgia Flu” was in full swing and affected practically everyone. It disabled and deprived people of the things they’re used to, especially electricity. Their fates are sealed if they sustain so much as an open, minuscule wound. Everything and everyone are all left in despair and abandonment. It reminds me of the typical apocalypse (e.g. The Last of Us), where martial law is imposed; quarantine areas are erected and further isolate humanity; and survival by any means necessary is a prominent, yet vain concept. There is no definitive solution and a cure is anything but certain in such a crisis.
Print this page