The Beginning of The End

Station Eleven, A novel by Emily St. John Mandel

So far this will only be about part one, including chapters one through six.

During the first chapter we get introduced to Arthur, who is an actor in a play called, King Lear.  In act four, Arthur has a heart attack and  dies. Jeevan, a paramedic in training comes to aide but unfortunately cannot save his life for it was too late. Kirsten Raymonde is then introduced as a child actor who happens to be shocked just watching this event unfold in front of her. The person who is supposed to be taking care of Kirsten is called Tanya. Tanya has been having a secret rendezvous with our dead guy, Arthur. But of course no one knew this, or actually everyone knew on the low except for the producer. After all the commotion was over, a couple of the people from the theater stayed back, including the bartender, talking, trying to figure out who of Arthur’s family or close people they could call to let them know the bad news. Arthur had a 7 year old son and three ex-wives but he was not close to any of them.

Moving on to the person who I really wanted to talk about from part one would be Jeevan Chaudhary, as you knew from the previous paragraph, He is a paramedic, has a girlfriend whose name is Laura (1), a brother later on introduced as Frank (19), and his best friend Hua (17). Jeevan and Laura have a complicated relationship which tends to get even more complicated as this plague reveals itself. Goodbye Laura.. From what Hua told Jeevan over the phone, “I got a patient in the ICU, Sixteen-year old girl, flew in from Moscow last night, presented with flu like symptoms at the ER early this morning. It’s not looking good for her. Well by midmorning we’ve got twelve more patients, same symptoms, turns out they were all on the same flight. They all say they started feeling sick on the plane.” (17). This small dialogue coming from Hua is the first we hear of something this grave happening. Hua calls Jeevan to let him know what is going on but he is also scared to tell his bestfriend because of how he may react. Hua wants Jeevan to get out of there as fast as possible, even if it means leaving him behind. Hua told Jeevan to leave the city, and get as far away as possible from this sickness that has not been labeled yet. Later on in the news it has been given the name of ” the Georgia flu” (21).

My imagination took me away from this and reminded me of the movie, World War Z. These people will most likely not turn into the vicious zombies that we see from the movie, if you have watched the movie at all but the whole idea of an epidemic, disease going around and spreading like wildfire reminds me so much of this movie. I do not know if there will be people in quarantine for I have not read further than part 1, but this picture came into my head as I kept reading on when Hua calls Jeevan to let him know how things are doing.

This picture shows all the disease zombies carrying the virus acting all crazy wanting to go over the wall to kill the people that are actually healthy. Why is this happening? No clue.  The people shown in the picture are quarantined off from the rest of the population so that maybe the human race could be salvaged.

Back to the story and my opinions,

Like any other sane person, after my best friend calls me and tells me to leave the city because there is an epidemic unfolding and there is not much time. I would not think about it twice. I would grab my family and some essential things and leave as soon as possible. Unfortunately that just did not happen with Jeevan, He can’t just up and leave. Hes debating on calling Laura, but he is  just tired of how she treats him. Honestly I would be too, always assuming things. He bought the theater tickets 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.” (11) I wouldn’t be with someone like Laura, she is being ungrateful. Like why couldn’t she just wait for her boyfriend. Anyways, he calls her and tells her about the epidemic and to get out of the city and there she goes asking in some accusatory tone where he has been. Definitely not getting the milk!

Frank is in a wheelchair and given the time of the day, or night, there aren’t any vehicles for wheelchairs available. Therefore Jeevan stays with his brother, he buys 90% of the grocery store and takes it to his brother’s house and stays there.  If I couldn’t leave I rather stay with my family. At least we would die together. Such a way of thinking right?

As I started reading chapter six I was confused, because the only question that kept popping up was, ” What is going on?, What happened? Did everyone die?”  At that exact moment I remembered the beginning of “The Walking Dead”. Sure, these are not zombies in the book, but after all it is all an epidemic. The human race becoming extinct. Resources, food, clothes, shelters all gone or becoming scarce. 

“No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more Internet, No more social media.” (32). This is exactly shown in this picture. Besides the dead bodies, but you get the idea.
I will continue reading more to see where all of this ends up.

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