« Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek's "New" Comparative Literature as BOTH Theory and Method | Main | Emerging from John Wyndahm's _The Chrysalids_ »

October 09, 2015

Student Inquiries into the Mainstream Zom-Doc (Zombie Documentary)

Image Source: http://www.technobuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/walking-dead-zombie.jpg

Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

_____________________________________

To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at October 9, 2015 01:46 PM

Readers' Comments:

Nicholas Santos and Jonah Robertson
ENG400
9 October 2015
Question 2

Setup:

The zombie contagion transfers via bite wound and transforms the host into one of the living dead.

Question(s):

What if the non-airborne contagion mutated and, by severing the head with various tools (as demonstrated in the documentary by Roger Ma),
became an airborne contagion?

How would/could/should the remaining human
population combat this?

Answer:

Based on the potency of airborne viruses, and the speed at which they travel and infect individuals, there is no way that a human population would be able to combat an airborne strain of a zombie virus. By the time one person is infected, it is essentially guaranteed that everyone in the same area is infected too due to the way in which airborne viruses are spread. If anyone were to attempt to even study the effects or causes of the contagion, it would be too late.

Posted by: Nicholas Santos and Jonah Robertson at October 9, 2015 02:00 PM

Rebecca Maldonado and Craig Graves
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 400 ST
9 October 2015

Question 3: what does the term “bugging out/ in” mean? How is it important to survival? Also, is it truly and effective method.
Answer: Bugging out means “leaving dodge” or packing your home up and trying to find safety. Bugging in means trying to find safety elsewhere – leaving the safety of your haven in order to find a new home. Bugging out can be beneficial if you end up finding a haven better than your previous one. However, the risks are high, as you could potentially put yourself and your group in danger to attacks by other stragglers as well as zombies. Bugging in can provide almost consistent protection, however, it can lead to a sort of cabin fever. Both have their pros and con. Either method’s got their effectiveness however, bugging in provides more protection and a plethora of resources whereas bugging out is way more dangerous and stressful on resources.

Posted by: rebecca maldonado at October 12, 2015 01:32 PM

Kristen Collins and Emily Finck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 400ST
14 October 2015

Question: Is it possible that zombies are adapted, in fiction, to mirror an unseen enemy that the consciousness of a society? If so, why? Explain. Discuss.

Answer: It is possible because the unseen enemy has been prevalent in human society since the beginning, through oral tradition and storytelling. Unexplained man-eating fears take on different shapes in history, from ghouls who embody females to entice and feast on men in Saudi Arabia to draugrs who are warrior-like undead come from Old Nordic mythology. The newest supernatural wave comes in the form of zombies, where society is tying in old cultural beliefs and the new sciences. The old cultural beliefs have morphed this new zombie by combining ghouls, wendigo, and draugrs; Wendigo’s once being human but becoming a monster from cannibalism, ghouls being created through hate and sin and eventually eating rotten flesh and trapping live humans, and draugrs who come back from the dead just to kill. While not everyone has a firm belief in the supernatural, having science bring about a reality to the zombie and how it can actually be a possibility. Science is physical and apparent in society today, so fear is tied into science now rather than just solely being of a supernatural force.

Posted by: Kristen Collins and Emily Finck at October 13, 2015 08:37 PM

Setup:
On the possibly Freudian/Jungian concept of the fear of death, as an archetypal trope, or, perhaps, obsession.
Questions:
*Why do you think there is such a common fear of the dead returning to life?
*Is there some ingrained terror of “un-death” in the human mind?
*Is it an instinctual fear, or do we derive it from cultural elements?

Response: Freud claims that “It is indeed impossible to imagine our own death.”

We can’t see a place where we don’t exist in, Heaven/Hell act as substitutes for this; extending ourselves past death into an afterlife. We use zombies as substitutes for ourselves in death, keeping our image on the planet and denying extinction.

Death isn’t something we can explain after it happens.
Human body being is hard to identify as a monster, so we have to alter it in the zombie image.
Crimes against humanity more horrifying since it looks/was a human, therefore they are treasonous against humanity.

Freud says we can’t fear death since we can’t experience and talk about it. For us it is more a fear of abandonment; zombies abandon humanity.

Zombies represent a fear of chaos, loss of control, the fragility of our system and government.

Terror of the undead: part of the natural cycle, death is inevitable. We fear something breaking that cycle and upsetting natural order. Zombies can be seen as a denial of death.

Posted by: Will & Bella at October 16, 2015 01:26 PM

Liam O’Sullivan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 400st
10/8/15

Discussion Question for Zombie Documentary

“There’s a fear that by tweaking with science, we are ultimately tweaking with our own destiny and creating these super-bugs, so to speak, that will end up causing our demise.”
(Zombies: A Living History, 51:00, Rebekah McKendry)

Question: This section of the documentary is talking about biomedical warfare, and how dangerous our technology and science can be. If we lose control of our technology and science, there is a chance we could create a virus that is incurable. Do you think the human race will end up causing our own termination through technology, science and biomedical warfare?

It would seem as if the human race could quite possibly end its own extinction. In the documentary, they refer to the myth of Prometheus. Prometheus steals fire from Zeus and gives it to the humans, in return Zeus punishes him by having Pandora open her box containing the sum of all evils into the world. Tony Perrottet says, “The Prometheus myth is the original story of someone who goes too far…is punished for it”, he continues with, “The zombie myth fits into that entirely, it is exactly our fear of something that is going to destroy us.” (51:37)
Secondly, in 2001 right after the terrorist attacks on September 11 an outbreak of anthrax showed up in the United States. This virus targeted five people and ended up infecting seventeen. This deadly virus was weaponized, packed up and sent to these five victims.
Now that our technology, science and biomedical warfare are so advanced, the possibility of human beings destroying our own race through a zombie virus is quite accurate.

Posted by: Liam O'Sullivan at November 24, 2015 11:25 AM

Liam O’Sullivan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 400st
10/8/15

Discussion Question for Zombie Documentary

“There’s a fear that by tweaking with science, we are ultimately tweaking with our own destiny and creating these super-bugs, so to speak, that will end up causing our demise.”
(Zombies: A Living History, 51:00, Rebekah McKendry)

Question: This section of the documentary is talking about biomedical warfare, and how dangerous our technology and science can be. If we lose control of our technology and science, there is a chance we could create a virus that is incurable. Do you think the human race will end up causing our own termination through technology, science and biomedical warfare?

It would seem as if the human race could quite possibly end its own extinction. In the documentary, they refer to the myth of Prometheus. Prometheus steals fire from Zeus and gives it to the humans, in return Zeus punishes him by having Pandora open her box containing the sum of all evils into the world. Tony Perrottet says, “The Prometheus myth is the original story of someone who goes too far…is punished for it”, he continues with, “The zombie myth fits into that entirely, it is exactly our fear of something that is going to destroy us.” (51:37)
Secondly, in 2001 right after the terrorist attacks on September 11 an outbreak of anthrax showed up in the United States. This virus targeted five people and ended up infecting seventeen. This deadly virus was weaponized, packed up and sent to these five victims.
Now that our technology, science and biomedical warfare are so advanced, the possibility of human beings destroying our own race through a zombie virus is quite accurate.

Posted by: Liam O'Sullivan at November 24, 2015 11:28 AM

Jahiedy Viñas
ENG 400 ST
Dr. Hobbs
9 October 2015


Question: Why does zombies’ insatiable hunger for human flesh particularly freak humans out?

Answer: The desire to eat human flesh taps into humanity’s strongest taboo: our fear of humans eating other humans, with a mixture of disgust and the fear we have for unknown things in the dark. We have a primal fear of being made into food. Cannibalism violates a deeper human instinct. Therefore, even when humans resort to cannibalism to survive extreme cases, those survivors are outcast; for the belief goes, “If you’ve eaten humans once, you are going to again.” In addition, when people are hungry, they will eat anything. Because of the stigma of cannibalism, people usually exercise social control even during extreme circumstances. However, Zombies are not bound to stigmas, have self-control or stop when they are full. They only focus on eating more humans as food.

Posted by: Jahiedy Viñas at November 24, 2015 11:29 AM

Andrew Specht and Jahiedy Vinas
ENG 440ST
Dr. Hobbs
09 October 2015

Zombie Documentaries Pairs Question #6

1. If this the above is true, then why do some depictions of zombies, which are natural eaters and nothing more, are almost never shown to resort to cannibalism (i.e., eating other zombies) in the event of living people missing?

2. How can zombies tell the difference between non-infected human flesh and infected zombie flesh, if they can’t ‘make decisions’?

3. Is this another logical fallacy/plot hole? If so, why? If not, why?

Since Zombies are no longer human, perhaps they still have the human stigma of cannibalism, a past conviction that would withhold them from eating other zombies. Humans are part of the “other,” therefore they go for humans.

Another possibility, since zombies act on animalistic traits and eat based off smell, they can tell the difference between rotting flesh and humans that are alive. Zombies do not avoid animals, and perhaps they would eat any mammal. They would always go for something that is “fresh” and not other zombies who have passed the “fresh” stage.

Perhaps zombie blood smells different than fresh human blood. That is why the idea of covering yourself in zombie guts to get past zombies are fairly plausible in blending in and escaping. Zombies wouldn’t eat themselves, thus they would not eat anything like them.

When living people are extinct, zombies would eventually finish decomposing, even if it takes years. They would resort to eating any random animal they find.

Posted by: Andrew Specht and Jahiedy Vinas at December 11, 2015 08:59 AM

Google
My Blog

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved. 2006.