Station Eleven Character Analysis

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Station Eleven is a story filled with many different plotlines and backstories, all intricately woven together to paint a fascinating image of life after the Georgia Flu pandemic. The character development is one of the most intriguing parts of the novel, as the reader is surprised again and again with the actions and connections of each figure. Many of the characters enter both as background members in some scenes and as main characters in others, so that their stories flow smoothly with the others. Two characters that this can be applied to are Tyler, Arthur’s son, and Kirsten, a child actor turned into a performer with a travelling groupe after the near-extinction of the human race. They both grew and developed out of this tragedy, being…show more content…
In many ways, their similarity as children is due to their interactions with Arthur. He is the literal father of Tyler, and the figurative father of Kirsten. Like mentioned earlier, Kirsten does not appear to have a strong support network within her own family, and Arthur seems to miss Tyler due to his move to Jerusalem. He has “adopted” Kirsten as a child in many ways, giving her gifts and spending time with her - when Kirsten is bullied by a fellow child actor in King Lear, she seeks refuge in Arthur’s dressing room and Arthur gives her advice like a father. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence; Arthur tells Miranda that “Kirsten here likes to visit sometimes...almost daily. She doesn’t get along with the other girls. Unhappy kid.” His affection for her is visible to those around him; Miranda herself observes that she “saw how much he missed his own child, his distant son”. She’s his child on-stage too, not just playing Lear’s daughter, but a hallucination of the childhood version of his daughter. The overall portrayal of Kirsten before the plague is as a small girl, a little overcome by the glamour of the stage, seeking comfort with her father figure Arthur. Meanwhile, his actual son Tyler is…show more content…
The differences they experience later in life are more surprising because of the similarity of their upbringings. They both come from wealthy, or at least middle class families - their homes may have been a little dysfunctional, but it is assumed that they did not suffer any major abuse during childhood. On one hand, there’s Tyler; the son of a wealthy actor who never sees his father but is doted on by his mother. On another, there’s Kirsten; a somewhat successful child actress who presumably comes from a good home, but who seems to be at least a little neglected by her parents; this is seen when her “handler” during King Lear cannot reach her parents for hours, even though Kirsten had just witnessed a death that was widely publicized and would have been seen in the media by her parents. The lives they lead after the plague reflects their lives before, interpreted through the mind of a child. Kirsten is still idealistic; she clings onto small mementos from the past like her Station Eleven comics and ekks out a living doing what she was doing when she was younger; performing and singing for the crowd. Tyler is also obsessed with his few memories like HIS copy of the comics (perhaps attributed to the fact that the comics were the last thing he talked
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