Upon finishing Station Eleven by Emily St John, I was pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed the ending. The way the author constantly kept switching between the past and the present finally stopped throwing me off. The contrast of the past and future in the storyline shows how we may take many things for granted such as electricity, which Kirsten was fascinated about because she remembered so little of it. The sense of amazement she felt towards the end when Clark showed her the lights in the distance must have been unimaginable. Although not directly stated, Clark must have also felt almost a sense of relief, because many years back he didn’t believe Elizabeth when she kept repeating that things will eventually get better. “Clark could think of absolutely nothing to say.” (247), was his usual response to Elizabeth. Not only physical things, but things such as societal norms and cultures also dwindled or died because of the surviving population having to adapt to survive by any means necessary, even if it broke social “norms.”
I do agree with the reasons why the truck driver in McKinley was against teaching about pre-collapse, I do believe it was a necessity. Without the new generation which was born into the post-collapse world learning about all the technology and societal advancements, any possible advancement after the collapse would not have been possible. Jeevan’s wife Daria states, “I think I’d want my kid to know. All that knowledge, those incredible things we had.” (270). I believe without the new generation learning any of this knowledge, the area with lights Clark shows Kirsten may not have existed. All of the items Clark collected for his museum are foreign objects to all of the younger people there. We use almost all the “artifacts” collected on a daily basis and it’s hard to imagine a life without them.
Although I don’t think Clark was to blame for Elizabeth’s mental deterioration in the airport, I do think that Clark should have helped a little bit since he was feeling withdrawn much of the time. Clark also had an agreement with Dolores saying, “she’d promised to tell him if he began showing signs of having lost his mind, and vice versa.” (249) I think if he made such an agreement with her, he should have been open with Elizabeth since he was close with her as well. Maybe in such case the whole scenario with the prophet would not have happened at all, although I noticed it is tying many things together. I would not blame Elizabeth entirely either, since such a dramatic event unfolding for a long period of time definitely took a toll on her mental health, as well as Tyler’s when the joined the religious cult.