VCE Essay prompts: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

Looking for practice essay prompts for Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel? Here are some practice prompts to help you prepare for the text response essay!

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Survival 

  • The characters in Station Eleven do more than just survive. Do you agree? 
  • Station Eleven is not about survival. Do you agree? 

Characters 

  • Kirsten and Tyler are more similar than they are different. Do you agree? 
  • It is impossible to feel any sympathy for the prophet. To what extent do you agree? 
  • Arthur Leander and his son are equally contemptible yet tragic at the same time. Do you agree? 
  • Arthur’s regrets towards the end of his life is ultimately meaningless and ineffectual. Do you agree? 

Faith 

  • Faith takes many different forms in Station Eleven. Do you agree? 
  • Characters express their faith in different ways in Station Eleven. Discuss. 
  • In Station Eleven, faith is never enough. Do you agree? 
  • Mandel’s Station Eleven demonstrates that faith is integral to survival. Do you agree. 
  • In Station Eleven, faith is always anchored in the physical world and its artefacts. Discuss. 
  • “I’m not speaking of the tedious variations on physical death. There’s the death of the body, and there’s the death of the soul. I saw my mother die twice.” Station Eleven is an exploration on spiritual need of humanity. Do you agree? 

Art/Culture/Civilisation 

  • Mandel’s post-apocalyptic world paradoxically removes barriers to art and culture. Do you agree? 
  • Above all, Station Eleven is a celebration of art. Do you agree? 
  • In Station Eleven, art gives meaning to survival. Do you agree? 
  • Station Eleven suggests that beauty can be found in unlikely places. Do you agree? 
  • “God, why won’t our phones work? I so wish I could tweet this…just chilling with Arthur Leander’s kid at the end of the world.” Station Eleven is a critique of modern society’s obsession with celebrity. Discuss. 
  • Fame and anonymity are shown to be equally intoxicating in Station Eleven. Do you agree? 

Narrative structure 

  • The use of shifting narrative perspective in Station Eleven creates a story of humanity, rather than of individuals. Discuss. 
  • Station Eleven demonstrates that events that seem insignificant can have remarkable consequences in the future. Discuss. 
  • The mimesis of post-Georgia Flu world in the graphic novel allows Mandel to explore the human condition. Discuss. 
  • The ending of Station Eleven is at once pessimistic and optimistic. Discuss. 
  • The lack of a clear protagonist is a reflection of the gross loss of life in the post-Georgia Flu world. Do you agree? 

Memory/time/loss

  • Memory enables the characters in Station Eleven to survive. Do you agree? 
  • Despite the differences in setting, the people of the past and future remain the same in Station Eleven. Do you agree? 
  • “First, we only want to be seen, but once we’re seen, that’s not enough anymore. After that, we want to be remembered.”  Station Eleven immortalises its characters through memories. Do you agree? 
  • St John Mandel magnifies the losses experienced by her characters through the memories they have. Discuss. 
  • The memories of characters in Station Eleven’s Year Twenty have been so distorted over time that they are not truthful anymore. Do you agree? 

Throughout Station Eleven’s various timelines, innocence is always inevitably lost. Is this a fair statement?


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