Zombie Cliche Lookout: In a Way, I’m the Victim in All of This
Bad guys, and not just in zombie stories, aren’t supposed to be evil just for the sake of it. That’s bad writing. People simply don’t act like that. The things we do, say, and believe are all based on something. Most of the time, we do a pretty good job of processing our histories and perspectives in such a way that our actions are more or less reasonable. But some people simply aren’t built that way. Their experiences or the way they fundamentally understand the world is skewed in such a way that their actions are bizarre or even destructive. A horribly traumatic event, like – say – a zombie apocalypse, can trigger them to take these reactions to horrible extremes.
About this Episode:
Another half-assed bit of artistry for me here. I want Ned to be trying very hard to portray strength to both Murphy and you, the reader. He does what any tin-pot dictator does: speak in large, exaggerated caricatures while prominently displaying his capacity for violence nearby. In this case, that violence is represented by Bill and the rifle he is so clearly desperate to use in anger.
Discussion Question: Embrace Your Inner Villain
The end is here. The zombie outbreak cannot be contained and society is in its death throes. You manage to survive, and soon enough, realize that you can thrive in this new dangerous and violent reality. But, being a real human being and not a character from a children’s cartoon, you can’t just go from being a normal member of society to complete villain without some sort of transformation. So what do you suppose it would take for you (or a hypothetical third party if the idea of being a zombie story bad guy is disgusting to you) to start doing really nasty stuff in order to get ahead, build your strength, and truly live large at the end of the world?