Ya Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head: the Zombie Plague as the New Apocryphal Myth in Post 9/11 America
Date of Award
zombie, post 9-11, apocalypse, myth
America, as a culture and a society, has embraced the zombie as the new apocryphal myth in a Post 9/11 culture as a subconscious coping mechanism to deal with fear and terror and to train itself for an eventual breakdown of society in an apocalyptic event. The Post 9/11 America has latched on both consciously and subconsciously to the figure of the zombie because it easily represents and embodies a wide range of fears to a wide range of people's anxieties in a terrorist filled global world. This is examined by analyzing Robert Kirkman's comic series The Walking Dead, and Max Brooks' novels World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide in context of the cultural themes present in the works which reflect American society in wake of the 9/11 attacks. Fear of the unknown and lurking dangers of terrorism is a direct parallel to the modern zombie narrative, as well as examining a heightened sense of paranoia and issues of trust of Americans when dealing with government, foreigners, and even their own neighbours, as illustrated by character interaction in the modern zombie narrative. A brief history of the modern zombie narrative also highlights the evolution of the Romero zombie in the late 60's to the current modern zombie of the post 9/11 generation, in terms of how the zombie myth/narrative has changed and what core elements have endured to keep this monster alive in society
Neff, Ryan F., "Ya Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head: the Zombie Plague as the New Apocryphal Myth in Post 9/11 America" (2015). ETD Archive. 526.