Station Eleven

Station Eleven Quotes and Analysis

There are tears in her eyes now. Miranda is a person with very few certainties, but one of them is that only the dishonorable leave when things get difficult.

Chapter 14

This quote not only offers insight into Miranda's loyal character, it foreshadows her relationship to come with Arthur. At this juncture, Miranda is deciding whether or not to continue with her abusive relationship or potentially enter into a courtship with Arthur. She decides ultimately that being happy trumps being honorable, and leaves her boyfriend for Arthur.

"I prefer you with a crown"

Miranda, Chapter 15

Miranda thinks this about Arthur after they are married and settled in the Hollywood lifestyle. This statement reminds the reader that there are things she misses about the earlier parts of their relationship, before Arthur became such a huge superstar. The irony of this line is when she sees him for the final time he is indeed wearing a crown.

Because we are always looking for the former world, before all the traces of the former world are gone.

Narrator, Chapter 20

This quote outlines the need not only to remember the past but to preserve it before any traces of it are removed by the scavenging. The characters, especially Kirsten, are constantly on the lookout for relics of not only the old order but of things that are important to their own personal history. This is why Kirsten's experience looking for traces of Arthur Leander is so significant; she needs to to make sense of her own past.

Hell is the absence of the people you long for.

Chapter 23

As an allusion to the famous Satre quote "hell is other people," this quote captures the turmoil of the circumstances created by the epidemic. Because people were scattered all over the world at the time of the outbreak, ultimately even the potential survivors have no way of contacting their loved ones. We see examples of longing created by circumstances besides the flu as well; Kirsten longs for her former lover Sayid when he is kidnapped by the Prophet.

We bemoaned the impersonality of the modern world, but that was a lie, it seemed to him; it had never been impersonal at all. There had always been a massive delicate infrastructure of people, all of them working unnoticed around us, and when people stop going to work, the entire operation grinds to a halt.

Narrator, Chapter 30

Jeevan considers the splendor of a modern world that he had never truly appreciated as he faces the coming apocalypse. At all times in the modern world, people are working to make others' lives run. Any sense of impersonality fades in light of the fact that all of society is dedicated to ensuring each human being can go where they please, communicate with who they please, when they please. Without that infrastructure, it feels truly empty and impersonal.

“First you stir in the vanilla”—Frank standing on a stool on his wondrously functional pre-Libya legs, the bullet that would sever his spinal cord still twenty-five years away but already approaching: a woman giving birth to a child who will someday pull the trigger on a gun.

Narrator, Chapter 36

The juxtaposition here between the domesticity of Frank and Jeevan learning how to make a recipe with their mother and the violent future that would befall Frank highlights the contrast between pre-pandemic domestic life and the wild post-flu anarchy that follows.

He was a small, insignificant thing, drifting down the shore. He had never felt so alive or so sad.

Chapter 36

Jeevan at this moment feels his place in the universe. With no one searching for him and no one to whom he is responsible, Jeevan feels the existential insignificance of his circumstances. On the other hand, as he fights for survival, he feels the excitement of a life where the stakes are so high, compared to his domestic life.

What I mean to say is, the more you remember, the more you’ve lost.

Kirsten, Chapter 37

Kirsten ruminates here on the painful choice one must make in regards to the old world: either one can preserve one's sense of identity by attempting to remember pieces of their old life, or choose to forget it and move on. However, the downside to remembering pieces of the old life is the constant feeling of emptiness and comparisons to the old world.

I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.

Narrator, Chapter 39

Continuing with the themes of forgetting, this quote from the Station Eleven graphic novel describes Dr. Eleven's predicament of having to forget the amenities of earthly life in order to move on. 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 and live a life in the new world.

The children understood dots on maps—here—but even the teenagers were confused by the lines. There had been countries, and borders. It was hard to explain.

Chapter 44

This quote comments on the meaninglessness of arbitrary divisions after the dissolution of society. Things that mean so much to us now, countries, borders, citizenry, mean nothing when the main objective of society is simply collaborating to survive. The characters have a hard time explaining the way countries were organized because they realize in retrospect that they never considered it themselves.