Station Eleven

Station Eleven Summary and Analysis of Section 5: Toronto


Jeevan is given an opportunity to interview Arthur Leander, whom he considers the greatest actor of their generation. Jeevan cannot hide his disbelief and glee at the fact that the man whose wife he once tricked into getting a picture he made good money on will be answering his questions. The interview is conducted in a very fancy hotel room, and Jeevan and Arthur make a connection based on Jeevan’s pluck and candor. “I like you,” Arthur finally admits before offering Jeevan an exclusive story, under the condition that he wait 24 hours to break it. Arthur reveals that he is going to leave Elizabeth for his current film costar Lydia, but that he needs something to force him to follow through with leaving Elizabeth. When the question of their young son comes up, Arthur asks Jeevan to ensure that he includes a part about his commitment to co-parent the child.

Jeevan follows through on his commitment, and seven years later Jeevan is reflecting on this memory after the outbreak of the Georgia Flu. His brother Frank is ghostwriting a novel for a philanthropist; the philanthropist has likely been dead for a while, but Frank continues to write regardless. They pontificate about what they would find outside of their fortressed apartment, and Frank suggests that Jeevan go out there and “try to survive.” Frank reads some of his ghostwritten novel, which discusses why people try to be famous: in order to be remembered.

Back to our interview with Kirsten, where she describes the days after the outbreak with her brother, and deciding to make the walk south from Canada into the United States.

Jeevan has left his apartment and has decided to follow the lake. He reflects on Frank’s considerations of immortality as he thinks of the empty bottle of sleeping pills that Frank took and his brother lying dead in his bed. Jeevan sits and watches the sunrise by the lake and builds a shelter and falls asleep. Jeevan wakes up colder than he’s ever been before.

On his fifth day traveling he finds a group of three who he travels with. They discuss how many people are left in the world and the possibility of immunity from the disease. The cities are rife with crime and there is no order at all. They part ways and Jeevan is alone again, following the lake. He reminds himself of crucial facts about his identity.

Back to Kirsten, Diallo asks her what she remembers about the old world. Kirsten responds that sometimes forgetting is better, because the more you remember, “the more you’ve lost.”


The interview between Jeevan and Arthur is further evidence that all of these characters' journeys are intermingled. Jeevan, who is such a fan of Arthur’s, uses his knowledge of the latter to land an interview that would normally be out of his league. The fact that they have a personal connection allows for Arthur to be vulnerable enough for him to open up to Jeevan. The situational irony that Jeevan, who was once a paparazzi tricking Miranda to get a good picture for a scoop, is now trusted enough to reveal that he is leaving the woman that he left Miranda for.

The interviews add extra texture to what Kirsten went through as a child during the outbreak. These interviews play on the theme of memory that is so important in Station Eleven. Everyone’s memories are different and people don’t know if what they remember of the old world is real or not.

The juxtaposition of the mundane task of Frank and Jeevan making “snow ice cream” with their mother with the dire situations into which they are later thrust highlights the importance of memories in trying times for these characters. The things that the characters remember tend to be small moments that carry significance rather than “important” moments. The mundane moments of calm, singing “it's the end of the world as we know it,” shows a slice of life in an apocalypse.

Jeevan is the first character we see actually leaving his home after the collapse. The richly-described sensory experiences of the cold and the hunger make the reader feel the misery of the elements. The randomness of the decisions he makes (deciding to part ways with the group because he wants to follow the lake) highlights the confusion of the post-flu era.