Tag: Cultural identity


Zombies Represent the Crisis of the Modern Idenity


The zombie functions as a monstrous other, transgressing boundaries and unsettling the modern identity, as monsters have always done.  But, it goes beyond the scope of traditional monsters in that it also holds a mirror up to the secular self, and suggests, without the transcendent, we may nothing more than animated...

Heroism ain’t what it used to be


Beowulf and Achilles,  now those were heroes.  Even more recent literature has guys like Van Helsing and Aragorn.  In his treatment of the hero, Alsford says that a hero is “fundamentally oriented towards the other”; the hero “gives him or herself to the world” (29).  Zombie movies don’t have heroes...

Zombies Can’t Be Evil


Zombies function in many ways like a traditional monster, in that they represent the opposite of how we like to think of ourselves.  In other words, they transgress boundaries and challenge the identity of the modern self.  Their otherness is tailor-made to terrorizes the residents of the closed immanent frame: they...

“I’m out of ammo!”


Another important characteristic of the zombie that makes it ideally suited to terrorize our contemporary society is that it is a horde.  They attack in large numbers and overwhelm their victims by sheer weight of numbers.  The horde absorbs individuality—and we modern selves are obsessed with questions of identity (what is me...

Zombies: A Whole New Kind of Monster


"Apocalypse" (Ἀποκάλυψις) is a Greek word meaning "revelation."  In popular culture we often equate the word apocalypse with zombies.  "The zombie apocalypse" actually means "that which zombies reveal."  Zombies reveal some very interesting things about us, our society, and how we understand ourselves and our society. This has always been the...