The Role Of Zombies In The Walking Dead

1867 Words8 Pages
Are zombies a reflection of society 's fears and anxieties about the future? According to Ozog, many of the films and television shows we consume are "directly related to what we believe, fear, and love in our current existence" (2). Ozog suggests that the increase in demand and popularity for zombies "is directly connected to our fears and anxieties as a culture" (2). For instance, The Walking Dead, a popular comic written by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore, revolves around a zombie outbreak that creates a dystopian society for the survivors while they wait for the government to save them. Platts describes these zombies as a "mindless walking dead" (549) that "represent fears associated with a loss of identity and the anxieties associated with…show more content…
These scholars have collectively discussed how zombies are a reflection of a fear that our society faces today, but do not discuss the benefits this fear may possess. Thus, I will examine how the notion of one becoming a zombie can be used to "increase awareness of rabies" (Nasiruddin et al. 810) and allow us to understand the concept of zombies portrayed in the media through the certain scenes of The Walking Dead comic. Furthermore, I will use this knowledge to contribute to research on how society 's fears can be used to educate and invoke positive changes to benefit our humanity. First, I discuss the similarities between becoming a zombie and obtaining rabies. Many films and stories about zombies illustrate them as a result of a nuclear outbreak that causes them to lose their identity and wander around mindlessly. Additionally, they are said to go around biting those that are not yet affected in order to transfer the disease to them. However, a lot of people do not realize that this description is an example of the rabies disease. I will focus on the shared characteristics that both zombification and rabies produce. Zombification and…show more content…
Ozog suggests that the media we consume is correlated to "what we believe, fear, and love" (2), and the rise in demand for zombies is connected to our cultures fears and anxieties. To support this, I will discuss the characteristics we fear about zombies, starting with Platt 's idea that zombies represent "the anxieties associated with nuclear radiation and the possibility of an apocalyptic future." (552). In today 's society, we live in a world where we are constantly fearing the potential of a terrorist attack, another world war that will cause many deaths, or even the next big pandemic. Like Birch-Bayley states, zombies act as the standard for western culture 's "crisis mentality" (1137) to express these anxieties. This fear is also reflected in the plot of The Walking Dead when the survivors are fearing for their lives that they will become a zombie as well. They try to do anything they can to prevent the zombie outbreak from getting worse, even if it means killing their own family or friends. This is seen when Jim had to kill his own family because they turned into zombies and were attacking the survivors. His decision to kill those closest to him in order to save himself and the remaining survivors shows how we will do anything to stay alive, no matter how relentless or selfish these decisions can be. Thus, I conclude that the idea of a zombie reflects society 's biggest fears of violent attacks or major pandemic
Open Document