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Liberal economics, wanton consumerism, or an overregulated and brain-dead citizenry — zombies can epitomize whatever alleged mindlessness the critic most strongly objects to.
The Colorless Hordes But the popularity of the insult doesn’t explain the success of the stories in bookstores or at the box office.
Fiction allows us to explore the attractive side of the scenarios we fear.
Few of us want more poverty, greater danger, or less freedom, and yet we are drawn to stories whose characters are subjected to far more drama than we seek in our own lives.
“One of the things you have to do as a college professor,” says Amy, “is reach your audience, reach your students, and talk about things that they like in order to engage them in learning.” She and Antonio, both associate professors at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, have collected essays from scholars across the country that “discuss the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for actual catastrophes and estimate the probabilities of human survival and behavior during an undead invasion,” according to the .
“As devotees of the genre, the Thompsons saw the popularity of zombies as an opportunity to better reach students on a personal level.” While Amy, a biologist, addresses the science of real-world pandemic contagion, Antonio, a historian, says he looked at zombie movies and books “for examples of when government has collapsed and there’s a crazy dictator who has taken over.” Zombie Politics Zombies are clearly symbolic, as evidenced by how readily we employ the to be brainless.
“American popular culture is overflowing with doomsday prophecies and end-of-the-world scenarios,” Cantor writes.
“According to film and television, vampires, werewolves, and zombies are storming across our landscape, and alien invaders, asteroids, and airborne toxic events threaten us from the skies.…
Is there some weird kind of wish-fulfillment at work in all these visions of near-universal death and destruction?
” Sigmund Freud coined the term , and while Freud’s theories don’t hold the same sway among psychologists as they once did, cultural critics still find his dream theory useful in understanding popular fiction. Wish fulfillment does not designate the obviously desirable things one might openly wish for.