When the world is collapsed by pandemic or some other disasters, the fatalities appear continuously, most of the technologies from the modern civilization such as communication technology, convenient transportation and the internet technology all disappear after this, how is the people who were left over going to react on this? Are they going to struggle just for taking the last breath before the end of the world? Are they going to live as usual and treat that situation like a part of life for sure, continue living without pursues and slowly forget their memory of how people built up their previous civilization? Are they going to kill each other and gather the last goods and materials and make themselves survive a little longer? However, none of these were the best choice. To survive in the collapsed world was not enough, if you have a chance to survive under the disaster, there’s things that more valuable for you to do but just struggling to survive only.
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In the book, “Station Eleven” written by Emily St. John Mandel, the narrator indicated that the real attitude which people should have under the destruction of the Georgia Flu. This can be reflected by one of the main characters, Miranda which was the ex-wife of Arthur. She was always yearn for the life of the modern civilization and never ever lose hope on the life in the future, even though the scene of her death was sad but still beautiful. She always try to escape from the ordinary but she was lost on it. Through the comic book she wrote, it clearly express how was she thinking about the current world and the future world, there should a hope and attitude for continue living in the world. It indicated this more detail in the time Clark was reading her books. (332) Second is the story between Jeevan and his brother, Frank. Frank commit suicide and Jeevan had a strong chance continue living and moving forward. Here strongly indicated that to survive is not enough, Frank held an opposite side to the thought of Jeevan, Frank is the person which was more realistic and pessimistic, he would just continue living without pursues and wait for his death. However, Jeevan had a strong hope on restoring the modern civilization, he wanted to get back the modern society and continue living there, but not just straggling hard just for the survival. The suicide of Frank here indirectly support the narrator’s point of view on the attitude of living in this collapsed world.
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Another important point which supports the narrator’s opinion was the existence of the traveling symphony and another important character, Kirsten. Not like the other people, they did not give up on hope for the future world. Even the condition was hard for them, they just keep performing the best works left from the previous human society and keep encouraging people which were blinded by the horror of the pandemic. They used some essences especially the beautiful works from Shakespeare to light up the atmosphere of hopeless in the world and take people out from the darkness. As Kirsten said, “We long only to go home, we dream of sunlight, we dream of walking on earth.” (302) What it mean here is that surviving for a short period does not make a difference from death, other than just surviving, it’s better to have the hope and work a little on it, continue living with your pursues and willing to make a change during your survival period, some people had never lost their hope on a brighter future.
I am trying to redefine the meaning of surviving based on the story of Miranda, the Traveling symphony, Frank and Jeevan and Kirsten. First I will do some analysis on the behaviors of different characters which related to the idea of the point to survive. My central idea is going to be living but not just surviving. I will continue working on my body paragraph structure and make it more clear, straight to the point and avoid the repetition. Then I will try to analysis how the experiences of Kirsten and things did by the Traveling symphony support my opinion.
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