The story Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, is a story about the breakdown of civilization, but it also explores, actually what drives civilization today. Through the contrast of society before the collapse to depictions of life after it, Mandel is able to explore…
Station Eleven Essay Examples and Topics
by Emily St. John Mandel
Emily St. John Mandel
Theater fiction, fantasy, adventure, drama
Kirsten Raymonde, Jeevan Chaudhary, Arthur Leander, Frank Chaudhary, Clark Thompson, Miranda Carroll, Tyler Leander
Faith, fate, community, purpose
The novel has been adapted into an HBO Max miniseries, which aired during 2021 and 2022.
A mysterious flu starts spreading rapidly and blows into a pandemic. Kirsten, a child actor, becomes part of a nomadic group called Traveling Symphony. Twenty years after the pandemic started, the group performs classical music and Shakespeare plays throughout the Great lakes region.
After witnessing a real pandemic, this novel doesn’t seem like science fiction. It tackles a realistic question: what would happen after the civilization as we know it collapsed?
In the face of a social collapse, most people turn to fate and hope.
- “The beauty of this world where almost everyone was gone. If hell is other people, what is a world with almost no people in it?”
- “No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.”
The novel has sold 1.5 million copies as of 2020.
Now that we experienced a real pandemic, it’s interesting to contrast it with a fictional presentation of the same issue. Novels that strip away the world as we know it are tricky, but this author avoided the most common pitfalls. It’s an adventure-packed, fast-paced book that’s fun to read.
The book is a good representative of the literary fiction genre, but it’s not something that every reader would enjoy.