Survival Is Insufficient In Novel Of Station Eleven

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Societies can interconnect human life but can also isolate people from each other with the technology within. Station Eleven is a novel about a society devolving into a Dystopia, but it also explores what a society is. Mandel explores society through different perspectives by describing events prior to its downfall. For example, Arthur and Miranda’s migration from a small island into a larger city exhibits the disconnection between humans and nature. Though civilization appeals to Arthur and Miranda for the freedom it offers, the difficulty of describing their island home to others also illustrates the way that civilization also disconnects human beings from each other.

However, after the collapse, devices and technologies that had come to seem trivial are suddenly revealed to be revolutionary. In the depiction of modern society, people are isolated by their technology, but in a world without it, people are truly cut off from each other, unable to know what is going on in the world. In addition, the loss of medicine makes formerly routine infections suddenly threatening.

Station Eleven makes clear that a part of the reason people take the privileges of society for granted is our inability, or perhaps refusal, to see just how fragile society is. For example, Mandel shows that such a journey, passing across so many minds and hands, is miraculous but also sometimes seems to have never happened. In a sense, modern society is built on connections while at the same time hiding those connections. However, by highlighting how the connected world can accomplish such marvels, Mandel also captures the irony that this connectivity is what enables the downfall of the society. Because the society is so advanced and connected, the Georgia Flu was able to spread more effectively throughout the globe. Finally, by highlighting the human enterprise that goes into each object, Mandel emphasizes that even while our society has produced amazing technology, it is not technology that makes society, it’s people. In addition, the failure of society occurs not with the failure of technology, but with the mass death of human beings.

Memories of someone’s past life can be both beneficial and detrimental to someone. Station Eleven depicts both the society before its downfall and that same society as it is remembered by characters who have survived the Georgia Flu. For example, the novel shows how memory can be a source of hope for Kirsten as she seeks out possessions in abandoned homes in order to discover memories of people and the world. At the same time, the fact that Kristen needs reminders from the Travelling Symphony to regain some memories shows how easily memories can be lost and how the sense of losing one’s memories can be a source of terrible anxiety.

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On the other hand, the novel also shows how lost memories can be a blessing. For example, Kirsten regards her inability to remember any of the events after the collapse of society as an escape from possible trauma. In addition, the Prophet’s actions show a resemblance to Arthur’s wife searching in pre-collapse days and suggests that he is acting out those memories in a way that allows him to gain his power. The novel also shows that even good memories can be damaging, as those who best remember the society before the collapse often miss it most after.

Death can cause terror to people and motivate them to make efforts to survive. Explanation: Station Eleven begins with the death of Arthur Leander from a heart attack and then quickly moves to portray a society in which most of the population has died from the Georgia Flu. On a personal level, the primary characters of the novel are all connected to Arthur in some way. Some people have witnessed Arthur’s death like Kirsten and Jeevan, but others have viewed Arthur as an important part of their lives like Clark and Miranda.

Because of this, the novel shows how different people react to Arthur’s death. This connection of the main characters in the novel through Arthur and his death also emphasizes the impact individual lives and individual deaths have on a large network of people. Nevertheless, Arthur’s death is immediately followed by the Georgia Flu pandemic, in which billions of people die. Through this comparison of a single death with mass death, the novel suggests how all the people who died are unique and important in the same way that Arthur is.

The novel doesn’t just focus on those who died from the Georgia Flu. It also depicts the experiences of those who survived. For instance, many survivors often wonder why they survived while others didn’t like Elizabeth and Tyler. Furthermore, the novel also shows how important survival is through Jeevan receiving a call from a friend warning him of the pandemic and through the way that Miranda’s graphic novel becomes an important piece of art for several survivors. 

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