Survival and Death

In Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, we see until the end how death and survival played a vital role in the book. We see how random both things are. As a change of career and phone call could help you survive. Or how a comic you write for yourself becomes the important part of surviving for other people.

By day three all the essential items are gone from the airport. There is no more food, medicine, technology and the people dialing 911 cannot reach anyone. “By Day Three, all of the vending machines in the airport are empty”242” This line shows how people must depend on themselves to survive there is no more police to come and help people with medical emergencies. Since by Day Eight no one has come to the airport, a TSA agent named Tyrone goes out to hunt and returns with a deer. This shows how an activity somebody did for fun before the disease outbreak can become the tool for survival. In the same time we see everybody celebrating the killing of the deer and food to eat we see the girl who needed Effexor leave the group. After the small group do a search party to find her but sadly they are unable this shows how even surviving the original disease outbreak she could not survive her own disease.

In year fifteen Kristen gives an interview and when asked what “When you think of how the world’s changed in your lifetime, what do you think about?” “I think of killing.”(265) Here we learn that people no matter how young they were learn the importance of themselves before others. We see that Kristen has killed people before to survive. François has realized after interviewing the whole symphony that their stories are the same. “Everyone else died, I walked, I found the Symphony. Or, I was very young when it happened, I was born after it happened, I have no memories or few memories of any other way of living, and I have been walking all my life.”(266) all the people who survived have had the same experience of walking and searching with death all around them.

In chapter 51 we see Kristen in Charlie’s tent with him. There they start discussing many thing including death. When speaking about death they both get memory of a supernatural occurrence, and how those moments can be  strain of the losses and the difficulty of taking a life. Kristen also thinks about the friends she has lost and the people she has killed this is a moment of death and survival in the same moment. Kristen misses her friends that had died but she has killed people to survive and those people that died have people who miss them.

Throughout the novel we see the affect death has on the characters not just physical but psychological. The survivors wonder about why they survived and other people have died. We see how survival can move people from religion and some people closer to religion like Elizabeth and Tyler.

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