The Importance of Memory

In parts 4-6 in “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel we started seeing how all the characters memories are connected.  As the characters start remembering stuff from the old work they do not know if what they remember is real or not. This leads us to think how much we can trust the characters and how we have to look at everything they remember with a grain of a salt.

In chapter 27 we see how Jeevan books an interview with Arthur, at first Jeevan worried Arthur will recognize him as the man who took the embarrassing photo of Miranda but Arthur does not seem to recognize him. As Jeevan is in his brother’s frank house he remembers about random memories and wonders about his life. “Jeevan kept thinking of his girlfriend, his house in Cabbegetown, wondering if he was going to see either of them again” (Page 174) Here Jeevan thinks about the past and as a means to escape and distract from the apocalypse that’s occurring. Jeevan while being unhappy about his past life as a entertainment writer/paparazzi remembers one of his few proud moments. “What are you smiling about?” Frank asked. “Arthur Lender” (Page 175) Jeevan remembers the promise he made Arthur as a rare moment of integrity in his past career.

Chapter 31 we see Kristen giving an interview to François Diallo’s she speaks of the production of King Lear and the day Arthur had a heart attack. Kristen remembers the audience member who tried to save Arthur but cannot remember the name of that man. Even though many people knew Arthur nobody remembers the name of the man who tried to save him as the name is lost in history but the story of the man is remembered. We see Kristen have a major lapse of memory during the interview as she remembers Peter dropping off her home but cannot remember anything about her parents as she never saw them again. I believe that she is using the memories of Arthur as a father figure to fill the gap of her parents.

In Chapter 37 we learn that Kristen believes that her fragmented memory is a actually a blessing. ”Diallo: I hadn’t thought about it Raymonde: What I mean to say is, the more you remember, the more you’ve lost” (Page 195) This chapter makes you think of the say ““Ignorance is bliss.” Yes sometimes not knowing is more comfortable but all you are able to life easier but like everything to much of something is bad. Kristen being ignorant of her past is just trying to cope of the horror of what is left.

In chapter 39 we truly see how all the characters are interconnected. Miranda realizes she forgot to give Arthur the paperweight and she ships to Arthur at the Elgin Theatre. This is the same paperweight that after eleven years that Kristen still carries in the post- apocalyptic world. We now see how significant that paperweight is at that moment.

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