Station Eleven Station Eleven discussion


337 views
Questions - after finishing reading Station Eleven

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jennifer (last edited Jan 31, 2015 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer Spoilers ahead.

My original question was how characters like Kirsten who had direct contact with Arthur & also Jeevan who had very direct contact with Arthur performing CPR survive the Georgian flu. It was intermittently eluded that Arthur was feeling unwell before he died which confused me making me think he died of the flu... but ultimately it was a heart attack apparently.


message 2: by Maranda (new) - added it

Maranda Arthur didn't actually have the flu. He helped to tie the characters together through their connection to him. But I don't remember them actually saying he died of the flu. At least, this was how I read it.


Mary I agree, I never got the idea that Arthur died of anything but a heart attack.


Tina Would it really take 20 years for the world to reawaken?


message 5: by Yaya (last edited Feb 02, 2015 03:35PM) (new) - added it

Yaya Bettina wrote: "Would it really take 20 years for the world to reawaken?"

I wondered that myself. But considering that 99% of the population is gone, I guess it would take a while to get things organized.


Cindy Ehrenreich Arthur died of a heart attack, but he was the pivotal figure in the book. Not only did he connect Kirsten & Jeevan, but he had ties to The Prophet & Clark. He also passed on the comic books & the paperweight. I absolutely LOVED this book!!! Any book that can make a Star Trek reference a major theme is brilliant!


Licha Jennifer, I also got the impression that prior to the heart attack, Arthur was already feeling under the weather. Whether these were signs leading up to a heart attack or signs of having the virus already, that was never addressed. The author never fully addressed how the virus killed off some. Were some immune or just never came into contact with the virus? Did the virus die off after a certain amount of time? I don't always feel a need to have reasons for an apocalypse explained, but once it gets brought up, it does need to be closed out at least satisfactorily where I won't have to wonder about it through the whole book.


Licha Bettina wrote: "Would it really take 20 years for the world to reawaken?"

I felt the same way. Plausible, but at the same time questionable.


Jennifer I agree... Usually a heart attack is quite sudden, not a lingering feeling of being unwell before it happens, which confused me into thinking Arthur was seemingly getting the flu.

I assumed those who didn't get the flu just weren't in contact with those who had it & no one was immune, but that's just my assumption.

Licha wrote: "Jennifer, I also got the impression that prior to the heart attack, Arthur was already feeling under the weather. Whether these were signs leading up to a heart attack or signs of having the virus..."


Diane You definitely can feel unwell for hours or days before a heart attack, they don't always come on that suddenly. You may feel tired because your heart isn't functioning properly and circulating right. Sometimes you feel like you're having heartburn for a few days.


Susan I think that some people were immune. The flu was so widespread I think it would have been impossible not to come into contact with it. The people at the airport were cut off from others initially, but eventually new people arrived who would have been exposed to the flu. Also, Kirsten,although she had no memory of it, had wandered the countryside with her brother and ended up staying in a town for a while. Surely she must have come into contact with someone who had the flu.

To me it is not terribly important. With such a devastating loss of population, no TV or internet, and people clustered in small groups at great distance apart, how could anyone have known exactly what happened? It would probably take several generations of people who were of a scientific mind to figure out exactly what type of pandemic it was. Some day something is going to happen and if there is no communication and no body of scientists to analyze things, each little surviving group will have to deal with it on their own.


message 12: by Dee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dee i figured the 20 years worked well because it allowed those who were children when the flu struck to be adults in the later part of the book - trying to reestablish society - whereas if it had been less time; younger individuals (still in their teens), not as believable; the Prophet was only a young child when the flu struck (6 i think) - so he needed that time to grow up and because the guy he turned into


Cateline The author did go into detail about how Clark "luckily" avoided any of the surfaces that were contaminated by the virus. Remember how on his way to the airport was chronicled? I thought that was interesting.

And, after all, 20 years down the road everyone was already dead from the extremely fast moving virus, and a virus doesn't last outside of the host, ordinarily. So, it died off as well.

I don't think we ever knew the percentage of people left alive after the pandemic, but it wasn't many, less than 10% I'd guess? So, I very much doubt that immunity had any role in anyone's survival.


message 14: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Lincoln Licha wrote: "Jennifer, I also got the impression that prior to the heart attack, Arthur was already feeling under the weather. Whether these were signs leading up to a heart attack or signs of having the virus..."

I also believe that the author was eluding to the heart attack and not the flu.

As to the immunity of the flu for some; I think the author wanted to leave it up to us to decide why those people were saved. Its almost like she left it up to us to decide if we believed what the prophet believed (that they were saved for a purpose) or was it just mere coincidence that they survived. I agree that it doesn't really matter to the story as a whole. The story was more focus on what happened after and before, what lead up to these peoples lives being changed forever and how they got through it.

But to your comment about it being closed up, was anyone left with a wanting at the end of the book? I found that it ended fairly messily and I was looking for some cleaning up. I think it was just my personality, not a bad ending but was just curious if anyone else felt it?


Licha Emma, I didn't like the ending either. It was a bit of s mess. Personally, I didn't like the book and I never ended up caring about the characters, so by the end of it, I just didn't care one way or another how it ended, but sometimes a good ending will redeem a bad book (for me).


message 16: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Lincoln Licha wrote: "Emma, I didn't like the ending either. It was a bit of s mess. Personally, I didn't like the book and I never ended up caring about the characters, so by the end of it, I just didn't care one way..."

Yes, I found it interesting at the end. I was pretty vested in the story itself, just not the characters. In my review (www.balancingemma.com) I called the story the main character. it seemed for me though, that even though I didn't connect with the characters that I still ended up really enjoying the book!


Licha I agree with you Emma. The story is the main character and also Arthur, although he is dead. All the central characters tie back to Arthur.


message 18: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Lincoln Licha wrote: "I agree with you Emma. The story is the main character and also Arthur, although he is dead. All the central characters tie back to Arthur."

I found that really refreshing though! It was so strange to get done with the book and be thinking about the book, not what happened to the characters. It seems mind boggling that a book can even be successful when the characters are easily forgettable. Yet it seems this one did.

That's why, even though I really liked the book, I couldn't give it a full 5 stars. I was conflicted and confused, but I guess the more I think about it, I like that a book can do that. Its a different feeling at the end of the book, which wasn't necessarily bad.


back to top