A Post-Apocalyptic Society In Colson Whitehead's Zone One

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In Colson Whitehead 's genre novel, Zone One, society is trying to get back to its feet, to rebuild itself after a plague that lead to a zombie apocalypse took place. The post-apocalyptic society in Zone One is a reflection on how a post-capitalist version of the future might look like. The zombie apocalypse in the novel is the representation of what Marx considered, the impending revolution of the proletariat, rising against the bourgeoisie, bringing down with them the capitalist 's exploitative and oppressive socioeconomic system that has been installed for the larger part of the last 500 years. Whitehead’s portrayal of the zombie/uninfected social interaction and its power dynamics is a social critique of western capitalist society that…show more content…
As Mark Spitz is trying to survive and make sense of the uncanniness surrounding him, his introspective commentary on the world around him drops hints and nudges at subtle symbols that nod towards the obsolescence of the previously enforced social system. He references the bleakness of the capitalist businessman in the aftermath of these events, depicting it as a zombie wearing a dirty pinstripe suit. The businessman once representing the epitome of success in our society, now “its infection had converted this creature into a member of its bygone loser cadre, into another of the broke and the deluded, the mis-fitting, the inveterate unlucky” (Whitehead 148). Moreover, Whitehead 's writing also addresses the decay of capitalism more directly, as he describes the bleakness of the physical ruins of banks and the once blooming FiDi; “putrefying mounds on the cobblestones of the crooked streets of the financial district” (Whitehead 95). The Financial District is home to the headquarters of leading financial institutions, with Wall Street commonly described as the heart of capitalism, this particular dreary depiction of its physical appearance denotes the overall theme of the capitalist system becoming
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