The Expression Of Memories Through Art In Station Eleven

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Magazines in houses that were deserted in order to try to recollect the world she was once living in and keen memories about the people she once knew and cared for. Lost memories sometimes are results of post-traumatic experiences and in Kirsten case it was an advantage because her incapability to recall anything after the first year after the collapse saved her from the pain remembrance of what happened to her when she was younger. Station Eleven also portrays how good memories can be destructive because people who get their memories back from before the collapse often start longing back for their previous life- showing how memories can be either good or bad and influential to one’s behavior and recognition.

The author, St. John Mandel, emphasizes the constant use of memory throughout the text using character development and the thoughts and past of the characters. ‘The prophet, the only other person she’d ever met who had been in possession of Station Eleven.’ (308) Kirsten’s past consists of starting to perform at plays as a young girl, but her biggest memory was the night Arthur died on stage. ‘But I remember there was some commotion up front, just in front of the stage. And then I remember hearing a sound, this sharp ‘thwack,’ and that was Arthur hitting his hand on the plywood pillar by my head.’ (264) Kirsten also likes to think of her past and what she remembers before the collapse. The prophet was the only other person who had the comic book Station Eleven, that Kirsten knew of. This caused many thoughts to run through Kirsten’s head and it could’ve given her hope and motivation to find out who the prophet was and how he got this comic book. The development of the characters is how Mandel develops the themes throughout the text. Through many memories, thoughts, and flashbacks is how memory can be connected to hope which can connect to the essential question of thriving while surviving.

With all different forms and pursuit of art, they’re all quick getaways to escape from the bad things happening around us. Just like how Miranda is pursuing her graphic novel creation, The traveling symphony pursuing satisfactory performances for people in different towns and places and Arthur pursuing acting. In Station Eleven, art was used as a solidified way to persist against whatever was going on. At the very beginning in chapter 1 that started off with Shakespeare ‘King Lear’, that scene sort of gave us an introductory and look to how art will be display later in the novel. After the collapse where numerous amount of people died and lives vanished, hope lost, art was one of the only things kept alive. It survived through the Georgia Flu because of its self-sustaining nature without having to rely on materialistic things like electricity or technology, it wasn’t part of the modern society instead it had always been a historically traditional element. It’s something that’s really vital and connected with humanity. It gives people a systematic way to understand how the world works along with finding ways to connect back to the old world that’s gone. Although art might not be needed for survival, it’s a way to endure pain and relive happy moments for humans. ‘Survival is insufficient’, solely survival is insufficient for us as humans, they’re other elements added to survival in order to thrive. Especially since it’s the human nature whatever situation we’re in to create and elaborate art and so as long as humanity keeps existing, art will also be present.

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