In the interview with Francois in year fifteen that Kirsten was giving she is asking him a unique question, then answered “When you think of how the world’s changed in your lifetime, what do you think about?” “I think of killing.”(265) We see that Kristen has killed people before to survive.Themes of death creates the intensification of the value of life, even the will to murder. Death shows our urge for our life to have purpose, to follow a higher power.
In the entirety of the the novel we see the affect death has on every character and even the setting, but the characters are affected physically and psychologically. François has noticed right after the interview that the symphony’s stories are the very similar. “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. Each time death stared them in the face and they found purpose in the group and keep on the move because staying still is like death.
The survivors often wonder about why they survived they Georgia Flu, the gangs and other things and other people have died who had just the same amount of chance. Survival can move people to search for a higher power and some people far away from these ideas. Religion had a lot to do with the motivation of certain characters like Tyler and Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s mental state has withered away from seeing the state of the world, Tyler on the other and is getting entrenched in the new testament. Elizabeth never had a chance cause the only person around couldn’t even help himself. ” I should have pulled her back from the edge. But it had taken everything he had to stay back from the edge himself, and what could he have done?” (261). Tyler the Prophet is a complex character because not much is said about him until the end of the novel, when you find out he is Arthur’s son it adds that complex layer of connections, Tyler being Arthur and Elizabeth’s child. What was the purpose for being the prophet? I guess his purpose was to find/create a purpose because he was so into the idea of being “the light” and spreading “the light” that i think he lost the point, his purpose was supposed to fulfill him not keep him.
The story concludes with a theme that was lacking within most of novel, the theme of hope. Hope and purpose goes against the themes of the earlier parts of the book which is Death and Existentialism, with this we see that the Symphony develop positively as we move thru the book towards its end. “but it is possible that somewhere there are ships setting out?” (Mandel 332) This quote show s that people all over are setting off to reconquer the land that was once theirs with hope of a new and positive life.