Station Eleven

Station Eleven Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Station Eleven (motif)

The Station Eleven graphic novel serves as a motif that crosses over from the pre-flu world to the post-flu world. The plot of the novel-within-the-novel is prescient because it predicts a world in which humans are confined to living situations that are dictated by apocalyptic circumstances. In the actual apocalyptic scenario that emerges, the graphic novel serves as a link for the characters back to the pre-flu world. It's an ironic twist that a book about apocalyptic circumstances ends up tying people back to normalcy, and this irony is not lost on Kirsten.

The Paperweight (symbol)

The paperweight with the stormcloud in the center is a symbol of the connections between the characters in the novel across space and time. The paperweight passes between the possession of Clark, Miranda, Arthur, all the way to Kirsten, who cherishes it yet does not know its history. The links between each of the characters is traceable through this one object.

Shakespeare (motif)

There is a motif of Shakespeare's works throughout the novel, including both his comedies and tragedies. Interestingly, Arthur Leander is performing in a production of King Lear before his death and the outbreak of the Georgia flu; the fact that they indulge in a tragedy right before a true tragedy is interesting considering that the only play the Symphony performs in the book is A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies.

The Letters to Victoria (motif)

The motif of the unreturned letters from Arthur to his childhood friend Victoria serves as a reminder of Arthur's loneliness but also allows the reader to chart his journey from a young struggling actor in Toronto, to his various unhappy marriages and infidelities, and finally to his candid thoughts as a Hollywood actor. These letters are ultimately used against him, but ironically the flu hits just as they are released, making the harm done a drop in the bucket.

Luli (motif)

The name Luli is used for dogs spanning across the two eras of the story. Dr. Eleven's dog Luli is a fictional dog based on Miranda's real dog, and in a twist at the end, the Prophet, who serves as the main antagonist, has also named his dog Luli as a sign of deference to the Station Eleven graphic novel his father wanted him to love so much.