Zombie Cliche Lookout: Losing in Common
When most of us talk about the zombie apocalypse, we talk about the “fun” things. Improvising weapons, killing zombies in all sorts of creative ways, and “scavenging” cool supplies. What we ignore are all the painful elements, and there are a hell of a lot of them. No one really wants to survive the zombie apocalypse. Even if you survive, you do so at a tremendous sacrifice. At a minimum, your comfortable way of life is gone, but most will suffer losses far beyond this. Many will lose most or all of their loved ones. In the face of that, killing zombies somehow seems a little less fun.
Of course, this can give survivors something else to bond over. Sharing a tragedy often brings people closer together. We’re able to understand another person’s pain much easier when we’re experiencing similar pain. On the other hand, when those who have lost much encounter those who have been comparatively lucky, it might engender negative feelings toward the lucky survivors.
About this Episode:
It came up recently in the comments that Sam wouldn’t be interested in Tara as a love interest because he lost his wife Sarah only a couple of days ago. Furthermore, he also just learned that Sarah was pregnant, making the loss that much more poignant.
I see Sam as the type of person who wouldn’t be terribly open about sharing his feelings, but might comment obliquely about it.
Discussion Question: A Serious Zombie Story?
Most zombie fiction, and I’m including games here, downplay the horror of loss survivors would go through to some extent. This raises the question: could a more physiologically grounded zombie story work with audiences? Would people respond to a story where characters spend more time coping with loss than smashing zeds?