responses 1-3

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For responses 1-3 please respond thoughtfully. Just saying “I agree” or “I disagree” does not constitute a thoughtful response. Add to the 3 responses with very specific, concrete examples (some from the texts, some from personal experience); it’s also a good idea to ask questions which will further the discussion.

1. I think The Traveling Symphony is a museum in the broadest sense of the word, but accurately meets the mark of what a museum tries to convey. According to Google, a museum is simply “a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.” (Google Search) The Traveling Symphony is obviously not a building, but they are a place where historical, scientific, artistic and cultural interests are stored and exhibited. Each performer brings a little piece of the world they knew to the act, and this allows The Traveling Symphony to become a melting pot of all avenues of art and history. Furthermore, I would go on to add that museums are built not only for its audience, but also for the builders themselves, who are so passionate about their craft that they feel the need to spread its gospel—to preserve its legacy. The Traveling Symphony is a museum in this sense because they all feel the need to preserve their craft. This is never more evident than in the their motto: “Survial is insufficient.” (Mandel) All the performers of The Traveling Symphony feel the burden of all their predecessors to carry on their craft; they are not just a museum or the arts because they wanted to be; they must become a museum of the arts.

2. Station Eleven focuses on a variety of characters thorughout the story, the most prominent two being Arthur Leadner and Kirsten Raymonde. Their two storylines overlap for the briefest moment—at the beginning of the book—and remain loosely separate after that. (However, Arthur’s actions some twenty years earlier have great and rippling impact on Kirsten’s life.) They are both protagonists because they carry out a significant role in the story. Arthur’s story is meant to be one of the modern man’s. He falls in and out of love. He experiences heartbreak, and loss, and all the other vices that make humans human today. He looks forward to the future. Kirsten’s story is one of the imminent, dystopian future. She is still very much human, but a great foil to Arthur because she looks to the past as the golden age. It’s a great dichotomy that makes their stories so compelling.

But if I had to choose a single character to be the central focus of the story, I would choose Kirsten. Arthur is already a relic of the past in her timeline, which is only twenty something years in the future. Kirsten is the flameholder. She carries the torch of humanity on her shoulders as she tries to navigate a foriegn world. She proves that humans are resilient after calamity, and that the values of the modern man can be translated to the future.

3. In the beginning of the story it was a little hard to single out one main character of the novel because I personally felt that there was more than one. In the beginning it talks all about Arthur and the life he lives. He was someone I would describe as vain and unfaithful. In the first few pages it talks about how he was married to three different women and to each one could never stop committing infidelity. He was known to be a very great actor someone famous so I felt this made him the main character of the novel somehow.

There is however one other person I felt the whole story really revolved around as well at that was Jeevan the paparazzo who had also had been a paramedic. He attempted to save Arthur’s life while comforting Kristen the child actress who was scared of what was going on. I would describe Jeevan as very caring because he was the first one to try and save Arthur’s life and the first one to try and worn the ones he loves about the Georgia Flu. If I had to choose I would definitely say the main character of Station Eleven is Jeevan.

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New York University

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