The Flu Caused Chaos

In parts 7, 8, & 9 of  “Station Eleven” By St. John Mandel, we see that throughout the majority of these last few chapters that many people who survived the Flu are dealing with their personal conflicts. For example, they are focused on surviving to maintain stability. Also, whether or not it served a purpose to explain to the children born in the “New World” the difference from before and now, and dealing with other people who are in defense mode and having the belief that their harsh actions are justified because it is for a better purpose. Nowadays, people are focused on survival, but others point significance towards having consideration for those who were killed by the flu, those who once worked to keep the world going round and round. This makes it seem as though the narrator has a personal belief on the matter because of the word “Consider” being consistently used.

Life after the Flu, seeming as though it is a fight day to day because of all of the new conflicts produced from the Flu Clark makes it his business to keep survival the main priority considering he “worked all day at details of survival, hauling the water to the restrooms to keep the toilets operational” (258). Clark seems to feel the need to keep himself busy because life after the Flu seems so unorganized and the only way to head in the direction of hope is to keep himself busy working on something he for sure knows will work towards a new and better life. Based on Clarks efforts to stay busy it can be inferred that this was one of his conflicts, digging himself out of the whole the Flu created labeling surviving one of his main priorities.

McKinley who owned a school had a daughter who “came home crying that afternoon, she wanted to live as long as other people used to” (269). Now as many can logically make the assertion that children were being born post Flu even if in small numbers, one must keep in mind that these children may take the news many different kinds of ways, in this case being a negative response. The daughter sees it as a disadvantage of being alive since she is expected to live a shorter amount of time than usual. This right here makes sense as to why they were over thinking whether to tell the kids or not making this significant because based on whether they tell the kids the news or not depends on how they will or will not endure it leaving room for unexpected thoughts, or even actions.

During the end of the novel, it is said to “Consider the white gloves on the hands of the woman who inserted the snow globes into boxes” (255) as repetition occurs through the usage of the word “Consider”. This to me truly stands out because it shows a sense of being grateful and showing respect towards those who died, showing that their hard work to keep the world moving as long as it did will never be forgotten. This is significant because one would expect people to focus on surviving the Flu, but there are actually people out there who actually remind themselves of people who did such amazing things showing that not everyone in the “New World” is selfish and that the Flu will not easily wipe out such important memories.

Despite the conflicts which described, there were others which seemed to be more life-threatening than any other, the prophets. These are a dangerous group of people who take it to whatever extent it needs to be taken to even death in order to get what they want. Although their actions seem truly radical, it is said they believe that “all of your sufferings, it is all apart of a greater plan” (290) as they kept a smile on their face. This right here reminds me of “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” By Ursula LeGuin. This is because, in this novel “StationEleven”, the prophets believed that what seems negative is in reality for a better purpose the same way that in “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” the child locked in a basement (negative) was in order to keep everyone else alive (positive). 

I also believe that both the prophet smiling and such attractive building in which the small child was put permanently in are both very similar in which they both try to give off a positive impression although the reality within both of them are harsh and cause physical damage to innocent people who just want to live their lives. Throughout this novel, I have learned that although boredom may occur in life because of so many different things to appreciate to always attempt appreciating those things as much as possible because there can be an unexpected time in which a normal life could disappear causing you to wish you were grateful for those very same things that are now within absence. Another thing I learned from this is that times may change but it is up to you to decide what your purpose is and if you actually wanna adapt to the new lifestyle. Despite your decision, life will do its job, move on. 

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