Zombie Cliche Lookout: Moans
One of the things I love about zombies is the constant noise they make. Not only is it unsettling, I imagine it would have a pronounced psychological effect on survivors. Imagine, for a moment, that you are stuck in a tiny house surrounded completely on all sides by a ravenous horde of zombies. You’re safe for the time being, but have no way to escape. You simply sit and ponder your fate; all the while hearing the zombies outside, moaning and banging at the doors and windows. I think that’s just about enough to drive anyone to madness. This comes up occasionally in zombie fiction, but I think it should be a much bigger factor. People seem to adapt to a world filled with zombies much too easily, and the constant moaning and banging would – in my mind – be a major challenge.
As a bonus cliche, parenting in the zombie apocalypse would be an unenviable task. In most zombie fiction, kids are usually thrown in to up the stakes or make some sort of emotional statement, but I think there’s a lot of other ways they could deepen the story. As a parent, you represent stability to your child. You’re the one that makes the monsters go away in the middle of the night, makes sure they feel better when they scrape their knee, and keep them safe when they feel afraid. When the zombies show up, you’ll be completely robbed of that ability, which is going to do some crazy things to parents.
I went through something kind of like this myself recently. My wife’s grandmother just died, and it was the first death in the family my son was old enough to understand and process, and he was close to his great-grandmother. He just couldn’t fathom why she couldn’t come back, and how his parents were powerless to do anything about this cosmic injustice he was feeling. As a parent, it made me feel extremely vulnerable to not be able to do anything for my son but console him and answer his questions as best as I could.
About this Episode:
I was originally planning to check in with Sam first, but I’m still thinking out where I want to go with his story. I had things mapped out, but now I’m rethinking things a bit. So we’re going to see how things are going at Ted’s house and see characters we haven’t seen in quite a while.
Discussion Question: Should Zombies Moan?
If zombies moan, that suggests they’re breathing, or at least taking in air in order to make noise. There’s really no reason for them to do this, unless it’s a signalling device (I’m not a fan of that, since it implies a bit too much intelligence). Of course, it might simply be a leftover instinct from their days as a living person. But what do you think: should zombies be moaning? Would a silent, shuffling horde of undead cannibals be more realistic?