Essay about Social Commentary on Zombies in Movies and Litarature

Essay about Social Commentary on Zombies in Movies and Litarature

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The zombie genre is a lot more complex than I had ever imagined. Like many people, I thought of them as just gory, cannibalistic monsters dreamed up to gross people out. I really paid no attention to the genre, thinking that the movies and books were not my cup or tea. I was unaware of the history of the zombie, and the fact that much of the modern day zombie tales are actually deeply rooted in social commentary. As a student of sociology, seeing the zombie genre from this perspective was quite eye opening. The most profound realization for me was how much importance people place on material objects that really are not that vital in the grand scheme of life. I knew that humans were ultra consumeristic, but seeing these movies and reading the books, my perspective on my own life, and what is important, has begun to shift.
The evolution of the zombie genre is one I have found to be quite interesting. Many aspects of the origins I was not aware of. I never would have equated Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with the beginning of science fiction. Shelley also moved the horror genre away from superstition and mystery and opened the door to humans being the real makers of monsters. Though Shelley’s tale is not a directly a zombie story, a man is being reanimated after death, and how science is not always our friend. Mary Shelley paved the way for many writers by creating a spark in the imagination of many writers to come. Though I was familiar with the story of Frankenstein’s monster, it was interesting to me to see how it connected to the works I am reading today.
Writers like Edgar Allen Poe in short story “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” put their own spin on the dead coming back to life. Poe mesmerizes his friend,...

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...her threat that might be out there.
As has probably been said by many students before me, I have found the first half of this semester to be very enlightening. The history of the zombie genre, the depths of the social commentary, the insight into my own personal flaws as a human being, have really opened my eyes. I have felt a slight shift in my own values. When shopping recently on vacation, I found myself asking if I really needed certain items. Was my desire to consume and possess clouding my need for the item? Often times my answer to myself was yes. I have found myself wanting to get out and actually do more activities instead of sitting behind my computer and reading about them. If I were to be asked what I have learned so far, I would have to answer that I don’t want to be a zombie, shuffling through life, consuming whatever is put in front of me.

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