Automatons In George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead

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Mysterious mechanical men appear in myths of Greece and Rome. Automatons are found in the ruins of Ancient Egypt and deep in the history of Islam. Evidence of man pondering the possibility of artificial life and attempting to create it is found in nearly every culture. The ancient author of the Hermetic writings Hermes Trismegistus muses that “by discovering the true nature of the gods, man has been able to reproduce it” (McCorduck 8). It was not, however, truly created until research established through the 40’s and 50’s amounted to the very first artificially intelligent computer in 1956. Researchers programmed it to learn strategies, math, and English. The term artificial intelligence (AI) was coined by John McCarthy to describe their invention. This notion of a thinking, potentially feeling machine rooted in the minds of engineers— and writers— everywhere, though it would…show more content…
George Romero’s Night of The Living Dead reintroduced zombies in 1968, a height of turmoil in the United States in the wake of massive protests against the Vietnam War and peaking racial tension after the murder of Martin Luther King. The film’s central theme of chaos without government leadership in the zombie outbreak mirrored the inadequacy of the government’s actions in the 60’s. The 1978 sequel, Dawn of the Dead, takes place in a shopping mall where the zombies walk aimlessly. After the main characters clear out the dead, “shopping” there becomes their way of survival. This was a metaphor for the “zombification” of the consumer class, the immense growth of suburban ideals even at the time of the energy crisis. Zombies become popular again recently, in 2010, with the series The Walking Dead— and again, exponentially increasing gas prices and rampant consumerism, though this time with digital innovations instead of
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