Zombie Apocalypse Books Just Might Reveal A Better World-ca1835

By , July 24, 2018 6:59 am

Horror fiction has always served as a safe place to confront the things that frighten us. Today, zombie fiction isincredibly popular. The best of that fiction frightens the reader not only with horrific visions of cannibalistic undead or raging plague victims, but also with the complete collapse of society. Bringing down society at large provides opportunities for writers to introduce characters that fly in the face of stereotypes. Taking on Taboos Is Part of the Tradition An effective zombie storys setting is quite often used as a way to explore subjects that, in a more conventional narrative, might be uncomfortable for the reader. This fits with some of the best traditions of not only horror fiction, but sci-fi, as well. Some zombie stories, in fact, combine elements of both genres, making them sci-fi horror books as opposed to pure horror. Queer theory and gender theory, both controversial in some circles, can be incorporated into a good zombie yarn. It takes only a little imagination to understand why these stories provide such an effective means for communicating new ideas about LGBT theory. First, Take Away the Conventions A hallmark of zombie apocalypse books is the utter collapse of civilization. Those authorities that enjoy the legitimized use of forcepolice, militaryare overwhelmed by hordes of zombies. The authorities that would normally marshal the scientific response to the threatCDC, hospitals, scientists, doctorsare faced with a situation so anomalous that their capabilities to fight back are taxed and, eventually, they, too, come up short. Thus begins the collapse of society. Absent all the structures that so effectively guide the course of their lives, the protagonists must band togetherto survive, and that quite often means redefining themselves in ways that fall faroutside the social linesto which theyre accustomed. A character that might be disparaged as a redneckunder normal circumstances suddenly becomes a valuable resource for food gathering, tracking and survival, for example. A female character can be written as a capable fighter rather than the conventional, helpless victim in need of protection from the male characters. In some cases, this wide open world also means that characters that might otherwise be defined only by their sexual orientation get the chance to establish themselves as fully realized human beings. The environment the characters live in changes and, according to ecological models of human development, that would encourage a change in their fundamental natures, as well, and that may mean laying aside old prejudices. Necessity Is the Mother of Tolerance In modern queer theory, the definition of what it really means to be queerboth for the individual and the society around themcan beseen as a multilayered system of influences. These influences all play a part in the perception of homosexuality and what constitutes deviation from gender norms. The macro system in this model, which makes up its outermost ring, is defined by the attitudes and ideologies of the general culture. In the context of a zombie apocalypse, its safe to say that this broadest ring is utterly removed from the situation, as complete social collapse is typically a part of such scenarios. This has not been lost on the writers that produce zombie apocalypse books and scripts. The BBC show In the Flesh, for example, has won high praise from some critics for its portrayal of a gay character. In that shows scenario, the queer character is allowed to be a full-fledged person which, as one reviewer points out, is quite a step forward in fiction, where gay characters are quite often defined by their being queer more than anything else. Zombie fiction can provide an opportunity to reach audiences that may otherwise never get a chance to know a gay character, much less become attached to them. Its likely that a good portion of the zombie fandom crowd isnt pouring over queer theory books all that often, but that doesnt mean theyre unreachable and it certainly doesnt mean theyre hostile to gay characters. Resistance Is Still There, but the Past Is Encouraging Some books, films and television shows that have taken risks and questioned social conventions have, in retrospect, earned high praise for it. The original Star Trek put a Russian, an African-American woman and an Asian man in command positions on the bridge of its ship. Notably, that Asian man not only came out as queer, but became one of the most beloved queer celebrities of the present day. Night of the Living Dead gave the audience a capable black protagonist at the height of the Civil Rights movement, when doing so was certainly outside the norm. That film and character are now regarded as classics of the horror/zombie genre. Now, AMCs The Walking Dead, currently the biggest zombie franchise, is slated to introduce a queer character. Writers have already noted that there was some tensionthough whether it was truly sexual tension was ambiguousbetween two of the main characters on the show, Andrea and Michonne. Michonne was later revealed to have a male partner, but many viewers picked up on an implied relationship between the two female characters. For some, arelationship between women of different races would have opened up a dialogue about black queer studies and socialprivilegeand constitutes something of a missed opportunity in that regard. Crossing Genres and Boundaries Gay fiction novels, for the most part, still constitute their own world of literature. There may be some bleed over with other genres, but fully-realized, multi-dimensional gay characters havent carried over into broader fictionen masse quite yet, but it seems like that might not be long in coming. Sociobiology theory holds that some behaviors evolved because theyre advantageous to survival; specifically, successful reproduction. In the zombie apocalypse, bigotry, othering and prejudice are impairments, as they alienate people who might have viable skills from ones social circle. A heterosexual couple that might reproduce and a gay character or characters that might help provide parenting and protection for a child, for instance, could well depend upon one another for survival. Exclusion based on sexual preference, in this case, could be a fatal mistake. Queer theory is, for very practical reasons, developed around the society in which we live. Like all forms of fiction, end-of-the-world zombie scenarios provide a context where theories can be explored in entirely new ways and, in doing so, novel concepts can be considered. Perhaps, though it seems there is some resistance to overcome, the fanciful world of zombie fiction might provide a way to understand what prejudices hold us back and a safe place to discuss why we all might be better off without them.After all, the Greek root of the word apocalypse itself means uncovering, and perhaps there is no better way to reveal and understand the prejudices that hold us back than a good zombie apocalypse. Resources: .www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/courses/3615/Readings/BronfenbrennerModelofDevelopment%28short%20version%29.pdf .bloody-disgusting.com/news/3323334/walking-dead-getting-ga .www.brycebentleysummers.com/queer-sense-ecological-model/ .freethoughtblogs.com/godlessness/2014/06/01/in-the-flesh-the-best-lgbt-series-since-queer-as-folk/ .plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2010/entries/sociobiology/ ..merriam-webster../dictionary/apocalypse 相关的主题文章:

Comments are closed