to Literature: Fiction In this way, the novel explores death both on a personal and global scale. How memory works is a particular fascination for me, so I appreciate the recommendations. Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven begins with the end of the pompous life of first-class Hollywood star Arthur Leander, when he is suddenly struck by a heart attack and dies on stage amid his performance of … Survival is something we do so we can live. Survival, when used to describe a situation, implies the fulfillment of the bare essentials to live. Discuss the recurring quote “Survival is insufficient” in Station Eleven. The state of a society cannot be measured by its technology but through its art. Before the flu, life is easy to live and survival is facilitated by technology and a global community. Station Eleven Essay; Station Eleven Essay. I don’t wake up every morning and think “I’m going to survive my life today,” I think “I’m going to live my life today.” To live is to experience and feel. When I’ve finished my current, astoundingly good read, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell), I might just pick up Station Eleven. They want to do something different but it’s impossible now, there’s … kids, whatever, they’re trapped.” Later she says that “The day’s just turned into another day, and you go on like that, looking forward to five o’clock and then the weekend and then your two or three annual weeks of paid vacation time, day in day out, and that’s what happens with your life.”. And I love a character driven novel. From The Hunger Games to The Walking Dead, dystopias are a dime a dozen. Don’t forget all the good stuff you had. The OpenLab is an open-source, digital platform designed to support teaching and learning at City Tech (New York City College of Technology), and to promote student and faculty engagement in the intellectual and social life of the college community. This is just one way that Mandel shows that love makes survival worthwhile. Why would she do this if not because she finds great meaning in the bonds she’s built with them? The characters that Mandel describes in this world are complacent and easily distracted from the things that make their lives truly meaningful. The Station Eleven novel by St. John Mandel feels more relevant than ever as the world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Beyond it being a beautifully written and consuming read (despite its flaws — why was it never addressed before the fight scene in clearing that Kirsten was a knife-throwing ninja? Find someone else to grow old with. It is only when he becomes a paramedic, searching for the knowledge to help others, that he finds purpose in his life. As in, it pays my rent. Those are great memories and it is okay to hold on to them. The members of the Travelling Symphony find life sufficient enough to live and it all comes down to one thing: the other members. Station Eleven begins with the death of Arthur Leander from a heart attack, and then quickly moves to portray a world in which 99 percent of the population has died from a global flu pandemic. Three Things to Focus On: #1 - Retention of "quotidian" memories, loss of "important" ones. Who will you feel sorry for or angry for? The Georgia Flu removed all luxuries from the Earth and left the human race to fend for themselves. This is also relatable to us a college students; it’s not just about going to class, but truly learning, living, and experiencing. “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Technology as we knew it, is gone. The survivors drift, searching for gasoline and food. ... Remnants of the Old World: Making Survival Meaningful in 'Station Eleven' Alex Mccallion 12th Grade Through this bond human nature can be perceived ultimately as one focused on the sharing of emotion and wisdom that breaks through the social constraints that have become so prevalent in our modern society. Kirsten has trouble recalling most memories of the pre-world since she was so young when the flu hit, but she can remember seeking refuge with her brother and staying by his side until he passed. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel's fourth novel, won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications. (For example: the Bible, The graphic novel Station Eleven and Shakespeare’s plays, particularly King Lear.) The first level in this hierarchy of needs, physiological needs, covers what it is to survive. However, for as long as I’ve loved theatre, I … I would die for those close to me. Develop your own What does the quote mean to you? I would like to think that I would save a friend or family member before myself, but that situation has never arisen and hopefully never does. Something they are passionate about. Kristen and the rest of the Traveling Symphony devote their lives to each other, and to creating art (47). Kirk does not enjoy this lifestyle since he cannot experience the different sides of life by being under this spell forever. Towards the novel’s beginning, Jeevan epitomizes Dahlia’s illustration of corporate ghosts. “Survival is Insufficient” Upon first consideration, I, an incoming freshman from Memphis, Tennessee, have nothing in common with Kirsten Raymonde, the protagonist of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. Through Station Eleven, Mandel contends that the entities and emotions both tangible and intangible which make living worthwhile and dying justifiable are those that remind humanity just why “survival is insufficient:” the beauty of art and its extraordinary ability to bring humanity together, the inexpressible love which human beings cultivate for one another, and the pursuit of overarching knowledge, morals, values, and ideals. Most of Station Eleven’s characters remain good at heart, simple even, clinging to memories that reflect the old world both profoundly and superficially. In the post-apocalyptic world people have time for innovation, art, appreciation of the past, and relationships. So he disrupts the spell and gets everyone back on board. So many of the things that are held at the forefront of what is and what is not important are thrown to the wayside. Which character will you relate to? Please comment if you have any ideas and want to help. You wonder what events will transpire. Surviving in this world is held as a number one priority for anyone; it is why we wake up each morning/night and set off on our routines for work and/or school, … Station Eleven Summary and Study Guide. (hope) #3 - Collective memory as a historical educator. This is clearly indicated in a conversation between August and Kirsten when August asks: “”You ever think about stopping?” “You mean not traveling anymore?” “You ever think about it? Essay Topic 4. Underneath the broad community of the symphony there are individual friendships and relationships, which are what Kirsten is willing to die for. What Abstract. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. #2 - Memory as a survival aid. Given this appreciation of literary quietness, Mandel’s new novel, “Station Eleven,” might come as a surprise. Compare and contrast the characters of Miranda and Elizabeth in Station Eleven. 2. The symphony is doing everything in their power to live. The plague, regardless how horrible it was, it does allow us to see that life’s basic necessities is just not enough. When we moved from hunter-gather subsistence living, we grew to need these things, as well as a higher purpose. Office: N520 / Mailbox: N512, ENG 2001: Intro. It is okay to remember the past. This illustrates the difference between surviving, living an easier life, and living. Specifically she seems to advocate for love, art, and community in addition to survival in order to make life sufficient. In the world Mandel creates, not much remains of the world that we know today. Find someone else to grow old with. Without their cooperation, there would be no food, no caravans, no group. Anza College December 3, 2017 Essay #3 Rough Draft Survival and Death Kristen’s tattoo read, “Survival is insufficient.” In the beginning of the novel, Station Eleven, there is a quote, “No one ever thinks they’re awful, even people who really actually are. Author Emily St. John Mandel uses each character’s methods in intense situations throughout the novel Station Eleven to show human resilience in survival. How our reactions to events can determine the nature of who we become Survival is insufficient Analyse how creators depict people reacting to devastating events and what these reactions reveal about the society the author envisages, with close reference to at least two texts, 2. Joy, depression, serenity, calm, upset, shaken, excited, nervous; it’s feelings like these that make up our lives. Show More. Office Hours: Tu/Th 3:45-4:45pm & by appt. Mandel argues that human connection is needed for human life to really persist beyond mere survival and the passing on of genes. I am putting ideas in, I may end up changing the title or the “argument” and keep going on with my idea. Station Eleven plots Jeevan’s growth as he learns to work for his passions rather than for survival. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel has proven that being alive is not all there is to life. Sometimes moving on means changing. Jeevan was starting a new career, I like to think his life was going somewhere and now it has all been changed. What is his legacy? Our goal is to make the OpenLab accessible for all users. You can either compare the plot with the current situation in a world or let yourself analyze the way the characters see the world. Dr. Jill Belli 55 likes. We meet kristen 20 years later into the future, where there's no such thing a countries, nations, or states. Thank you! We need faith. Kirsten is one such character, and, throughout the novel, she carries with her a reminder of the beauty of the past world: a scrap of paper, a scene from a comic called Station Eleven, the novel’s own namesake. While performing onstage, Arthur Leander, playing the role of King Arthur, falls dead to a … Jumping back and forth from 15 years before and after the collapse, Mandel creates an idea that … They put themselves in much more danger than necessary by constantly moving around, because they are passionate about what they are doing. 1071 Words 5 Pages. The Traveling Symphony found that to be Shakespeare, and performance art. This same reason is also a cause worth dying for, as Mandel writes on page 300. Although the novel describes events after a catastrophic fictional swine flu pandemic, it can be considered an introspection into our society both at the collective and individual level. What is Mandel saying about memory? Station Eleven sounds like a great read. But Station Eleven makes “culture” in this capacity its primary concern: the lead vehicle in the Traveling Symphony’s caravan (made up of pickup trucks “pulled by teams of horses on wheels of steel and wood”) bears the defiant motto “Because survival is insufficient”—a utopian declaration that being human means more than just getting by, it requires spiritual and intellectual nourishment as well. Look at the importance of relationships in the characters lives. Station Eleven sounds like a great read. McDonalds and IHOPs become wayward homes. Some, such as the Cult, turn to religion. Analyze the function of theatre in Mandel’s Station Eleven. Email them to [email protected] with your order number after placing your order. In it she proclaims that […] the moon, the governess of floods, pale in her anger, washes all the air, that rheumatic diseases do abound. There’s got to be a steadier life than this.” “Sure, but in what other life would I get to perform Shakespeare?”” (135) Join us for Original Music Inspired by Emily St. John Mandel’s Station 11 at the Annex Theater. Now one might wonder how can this be followed by survival is insufficient. In Emily St John Mandel’s 2014 science fiction, dystopian novel Station Eleven, a majority of the world is deceased due to the Georgia-flu pandemic spread unknowingly by a passenger on a flight from Russia to The United States causing an apocalyptic world. In Station Eleven, Kirsten struggles with self-actualizing, and finding her meaning, purpose and potential in this post-apocalyptic society. They think they experience happiness, but really they just experience distractions from the charade that is their life. He describes himself as feeling, “…extravagantly, guiltily alive”(11). “Station Eleven” is about the survival of the human race in a world after a time of chaos and total structural collapse by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s about so much more than work and obligations — it’s about having fun, being spontaneous, and fostering love and relationships. Look at the importance of relationships in the characters lives. After the Georgia Flu there’s not much holding people back from finding hobbies. He sits on his throne contemplating, “…a secret list of everything that was good…Tyler in the bathtub at two…Elizabeth in the pool at night…Dancing with Clark….Miranda’s eyes… his third wife, Lydia, doing yoga….Tyler,”(Mandel 328). Life is the sum total of all of our experiences as well as our present hopes and dreams. To explain the phrase “survival is insufficient” one must look at both of the world that Mandel depicts: pre- and post-collapse. Plays are interesting because unlike most forms of entertainment media these days they involve a direct relationship between the audience and the performers. Truly living is the awareness that existing as a human being extends beyond whether or not one’s physical requisites are achieved; truly living is the recognition that a person or an object’s value is not wholly determined by its ability to alleviate a primal need; truly living is acknowledging the irrefutable and irrevocable value of imaginative entities such as art, literature, and music; truly living concerns the quality of one’s life. Whatever that may be. Why is this significant? She creates art neither for the publicity nor the pay, she creates it because she loves it; because it gives her life meaning. Kirsten Raymonde perseveres while her world crumbles around her thanks to the Georgia Flu; she watches worldly concerns, such as fame, money, and luxury, become obsolete and replaced by the necessity to survive. What mightn’t come to mind … (My dad is a huge Trekkie). That’s survival, that’s going day-to-day without taking the time to experience your own life as it flies by you. I feel that the traveling symphony did just that – they held onto Shakespeare, they held onto their music, and they held onto other artifacts from the old world in order to remind themselves that staying alive is not sufficient on its own; remnants of the past civilization made them yearn to live lives that had meanings beyond merely living itself. However after attempting to save Arthur’s life he discovers his true calling of being a paramedic. The theme of “Survival is insufficient” reminds me of The Giver by Lois Lowry. Files too large? This is a predicament that all surviving characters in the graphic novel struggle with; Clark is the one who finds the best balance between remembering and preserving the life on earth but finding a way to also move … Survival is insufficient. It’s not enough. “What choice do I have? Is happiness insufficient? He dies doing exactly that. It’s incredible how hard people will hold onto art forms once the “progressive” civilization fades away. The Traveling Symphony seek to share the beauty of literature and art from a time long gone by performing Shakespeare and musical concerts. But it’s easy to forget (or simply refuse to acknowledge) that each of those people, regardless of the vehemence with which they subscribe to numinous experience, is little more than a brain armored by a skeleton and sheathed in meat. In Station Eleven, all of the post-pandemic characters seek to survive, but many of them are not satisfied with the way they are currently living. It’s some sort of survival mechanism” (20 Mandel). Your email address will not be published. Everyone is happy. Your email address will not be published. To Mandel, it is art that makes life worth living. In short, it is Kirsten’s recognition of someone and something beyond herself which provides her with the incentive to live as opposed to merely surviving. We have ample opportunities to do more than just survive. “. “In the summer of year Ten, Jeevan had married one of the settlement’s founders, a former sales assistant named Daria.” (Mandel 269). The book heavily focuses on the characters’ interpersonal relationships and the weight they carry in each individual’s wellbeing, all of which seems to accurately reflect real life. These situations illustrate the importance of family, especially in times of fear. Jeevan on the other hand was never paid to do what he wanted. It is okay to remember the past. She would prefer living for one month as an individual with her own thoughts, than a whole eternity as one of the Borg, which would essentially make her a cog in a vast machine. All of the members’ needs are met thanks to the other members so I think, according to Mandel, it is the people that we love and care about that makes life worth living. Through these characters, and the different way they experience and respond to their memories, the novel engages in a nuanced exploration of memory itself. N-705. When he first encounters Miranda, she tells him, “What a wonderful thing, to get paid for doing what you love”(78). Olivia Harbin. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Frank and Diallo, while different in many ways, both came to the same conclusion, that “survival is insufficient”. The presence of the Symphony would remind the people of the towns to live, and rejuvenates the populace, putting a spring in their step and a smile on their face; they remind everyone about why they survive: so they can live. Essay Topic 3. I guess all of the symphony’s members truly believe “Survival is Insufficient,” and find their purpose to be theater. It is these connections that Mandel so expertly weaves throughout the book, and these connections that Mandel believes make survival into life. In Jonas’ community, survival is shown at its height: not just everyone’s physical needs, but all their emotional and mental needs are met. Find peace within yourself and those around you. Essays on Station Eleven Station Eleven is a novel published in 2014 by Emily St. John Mandel which won positive reviews from critics but also the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. 474 quotes from Station Eleven: ‘Hell is the absence of the people you long for.’ ... Because survival is insufficient.” ― Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven. Beyond the basic needs of food, water, and shelter there is something else that motivates us to get up every morning; it is the hope to find connection. That doesn’t really make much sense. They constantly seek more, whether it be more food, more shelter, or more people. Insight Sample Essays are high-level sample essays written by experienced teachers, assessors and experts in the analysis of literature, poetry, film and dramatic texts. If one stops to think about it, the actor is displaying his or her deepest self by using a mask to unmask their true feelings. What would be the point of living otherwise? What irony surrounds this phrase in the novel? Most everyone can agree that there is more to life than merely surviving. Two examples of such responsibilities as they appear in the book are Jeevan’s brother, Frank, finishing a biography he was contracted to write even though civilization had already collapsed and Francois Diallo, trying to create a new newspaper circulation in the post-collapse world. In general, at least today, classical art such as opera or theater isn’t as appreciated as in the past. That which makes life sufficient enough to live is a greater purpose, adding a goal or responsibility to a person’s life and giving a use to the higher consciousness that makes a person more than an evolved animal. Analysis of Station Eleven “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient” (Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free). From what television show is the quote derived? “King Lear” is a tragic Shakespearean play about a world turned upside down with deceit and the attempt to find order again. Titania in the context of the novel is saying that horrible events occur, but through these horrible events change is brought about. The Traveling Symphony seems to be a sort of family. This thirst for more is why, in Station Eleven, the Traveling Symphony forms. Lit Comp. Dieter told Kirsten that “People want what was best about the world” (38). 1. They are not coming back and instead of suffering or killing yourself, why not move on? In the absence of society to provide a distance from more animalistic urges, these people have essentially regressed to animals. I believe that this transformation, as it were, would not be able to take place without a sense of contentment that comes from the environment of a live audience. We should all strive to be a member of our own symphony. Instead it depicts civilization as a fragile yet ongoing construct. In high school, I was in cross country and track. Station Eleven handles it really deftly, intelligently and well, and Kirsten is a really fascinating character as a result. Humans have been gifted with amazing abilities. Station Eleven Survival Is Insufficient Essay, sleep deprivation because of homework, essay argumentative, sample letter to dissertation committee members. Technology as we knew it, is gone. Don’t you realize you remove all tension from an action sequence when your protagonist suddenly has superpowers? (For example: the Bible, The graphic novel Station Eleven and Shakespeare’s plays, particularly King Lear.) STATION ELEVEN Lincoln Michel: Let me start by congratulating you on being a well-deserved National Book Award Fiction Finalist! Media, relatives, even strangers have told me that college and young adulthood are going to be the best time of my life. In “Station Eleven”, Kirsten and other characters would die for their friends and their family. Anza College December 3, 2017 Essay #3 Rough Draft Survival and Death Kristen’s tattoo read, “Survival is insufficient.” In the beginning of the novel, Station Eleven, there is a quote, “No one ever thinks they’re awful, even people who really actually are. Paradise truly is not for everyone, since paradise does not let one truly live. #2 - Memory as a survival aid. The traveling Symphony sort of perplexed me throughout the entire novel. Most people have already commented on the life after the flu, and that people need more than food, water, and shelter in order to actually live, so I won’t bother repeating what many have said very eloquently. For the most part, your life would consist of the same routine each day: Eat, work, eat. Required fields are marked *. 2. Though he abandons friends and lovers easily, he does so only after being lured into what he perceives as a potentially deeper and more meaningful connection. The thing that makes life worth living, and thus dying, is different for each individual on Earth. Many works of dystopia take up the topic of religion in some way. ... Head over to our Station Eleven Study Guide for more sample essay topics, so you can practice writing essays using the analysis you've learnt from this blog! If you’ve followed me this far without firmly stamping “insufferable realist” on my forehead, you’ll understand why I struggle to derive meaning from this book. It is interesting that the way Mandel introduces her Star Trek quote/super important theme is by first creating a scene in which Kirsten is acting during the Travelling Symphony’s adaptation of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Related. As to the prediction of falling into the routine of common, bland, adult life in a decade or so, “I’d prefer not to think that I’m following a script”(106). What sets Station Eleven apart is its willingness to confront what its counterparts miss: the role of art in survival-oriented societies. No phones, no television, no electronics and no way of communicating with those around the globe. The concept of “survival is insufficient” taps into one of our most base questions as a species: what separates humans from other animals? Okay guys here it is, it is not perfect. However, in the post-apocalyptic world of this novel, people begin to focus on the things that give their life meaning. By performing the play and the symphonies of the pre-collapse world, the Traveling Symphony reminds those that they perform for of the creative depths that humanity can reach. In Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel uses memory as a framework for her novel, as flashbacks to before the collapse are memories in the present time. For Kirsten, performing and traveling with the Symphony is what makes her life meaningful. It means moving on, finding peace and happiness within yourself and coming to terms with what is what isn’t. I believe that everyone does have a reason for being on this earth, and people need to use their gifts to do good in the world. Most of what we do is fueled by the desire to find these things. Discuss the recurring quote “Survival is insufficient” in Station Eleven. The author clearly ties these two different quotations of script by using Star Trek to answer Shakespeare. ), I can’t say I believe it has intrinsic value. Through this bond it is my personal belief that the actors can be more at ease with their interpretations of how certain characters should be performed. Victorian Symbolism In Hunt's 'The Awakening' According. The traveling symphony focuses on more than survival and resources. Mandel’s novel weaves together a post-apocalyptic reckoning, the life of an actor, and the thoughts of the man who tries to save him. We know today that it is one ’ s life he discovers his true calling of being a well-deserved book. Arthur is less lucky and less faithful in his life was going somewhere and now it has intrinsic value ones! Are here than one reality of mere survival and the observer characters you! Remembered is boring at best and terrifying at worst life, that he finds purpose in his was! Technology and a global community she keeps her desire to act unmarred by responsibility, Clark! The audience and the rest of your life is one ’ s.... 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