Art And Simplistic Beauty In Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel

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Casually portraying elements of beauty in the simplest things, Emily St. John Mandel explores the response of a closely related group of characters to a devastating world catastrophe in the novel Station Eleven. While examining themes of art and simplistic beauty, Mandel grabs the reader's attention by moving back and forth throughout time, displaying how art is hidden in every aspect of human life. The novel itself is a post-apocalyptic fictional about the aftermath of a worldwide flu pandemic, the “Georgia Flu,” wiping out most of society. As the book floats between the ways of the world before and after the pandemic, many different characters are introduced. Appearing often in the novel include Jeevahn, a journalist who became a…show more content…
According to Mandel, art reminds us that we’re human. It is a subconscious human instinct, even “in the midst of catastrophe” (Knopf).
By year twenty, billions of the population are deceased and all that remains now of the world are wastelands that endure the memory of bustling cities and small dispersed settlements of the few survivors. Although nothing’s the same, Mandel sheds light on the artistry and allure of the simple things. Saying, “What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty” (Mandel 57). Talking about the scenery from nature and the production put on by the Traveling Symphony, Mandel subtly shows how it’s in our human nature to express oneself. Although nearly the entire population of the world was wiped out, art survived and remains in everything; unavoidably associated with human life, from the natural happenings of the environment to characteristics exhibited from people.
The Traveling Symphony is a troupe of actors and musicians who travel in caravans around the Great Lakes to settlements made by other survivors. Mandel says she added the group because she found it “hopeful” and “interesting” (NPR). In each little town the troupe stops at, the Symphony puts on concerts and theatre performances of mostly recreated Shakespeare plays. Written on the leading caravan is the Symphony’s motto “Because survival is insufficient,” taken from a Star Trek: Voyager episode (Mandel 58, 119). According
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