Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘AMC

Romero and Post-Romero Zombies as Gothic Antagonists and the Sublime

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Recently, in my Spectral and Sublime Gothic Literature class, we had a discussion in which the majority of people agreed that the gross-out, bloody zombies of modernity could not render a Gothic tale because they lack the element of the sublime which makes them the enemy that is foreboding yet one that you want to embrace you in some way. While on one hand, I do agree that in the traditional sense of the Gothic, the Romero-type zombie does not make one want to come to it and be converted into the path of the zombie (unlike the vampire which can be a very Gothic because they are unapproachable and sublime all at the same time). However, as I watched a marathon of The Walking Dead, I came to a conclusion that more than just the zombies exist as the supernatural, antagonistic elements of the show itself that does produce a Gothic tale of sorts.

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

To begin to deal with my ideology of the Romero / Post-Romero Zombie Gothic, I think that it is important for me to explain how I see the zombies begin to act as a sublime element within the movies, television shows, and comics in which I feel the Gothic exists rather than the norm of just horror. Whereas the zombies themselves are a representation of horrific / gruesome element of the sublime creature / person within a Gothic novel, they additionally represent the figure of death that comes into play in many Gothic tales. However, this death that they represent is not the beautiful death that one may identify with the Gothic notion of the sublime. Zombies represent a gruesome kind of death or undeath because they are not genuinely alive or undead with all their faculties and personalities about them like a vampire or a ghost, yet (and this is where it gets complicated in my mind) in many zombie movies, novels, etc., there is usually talk of “opting out,” as they call it in The Walking Dead.

While the zombies themselves are not what one would call sublime, this natural death to end human suffering in the zombie filled world takes up this sublimity. The humans themselves by “opting out” or committing suicide, usually from a gunshot to the head, create an air of the sublime in the natural death that does not happen as a result of being bitten or waiting to be bitten (cause let’s fact it… it’s only a matter of time in a zombie filled world). The beauty that natural death represents in this isolated and inhospitable world holds a certain air of that sublime that they want but what they are afraid to get because it is suicide. Moreover, this suicide sublimity also provides a stark contrast to the gruesomeness that is the zombie, walking till either starvation or some outside force takes them down. The need to be truly and definitely dead rises to conflict with the zombies.

Then, the nature of the sublime that exists within the modern zombie movie, television show, novel, etc. becomes a triangulation of sorts from humans to zombies / undeath, from zombie / undeath to natural death, and from natural death to

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

humans. Thought the zombies themselves do not equate a form of death that can be considered sublime, the full equation of death that they and the natural death paralleling them represent the sublimity of the Gothic. As the concept of gruesome death in the form of the zombies overruns the world in zombie stories, the desire to have a natural death without the possibility of a sub-par undead resurrection plays at the corner of the survivors minds, even before a zombie literally plays with and eats their brains.

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Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

After the Mid-Season Finale: A Darker Degree of The Walking Dead *Spoilers*

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By Zarmaine (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

“This is how we both survive. Do you understand?”

After Rick uttering these words to Sophia’s cries of “Don’t leave me!” and her immediate disappearance, we knew something was going to happen. While I thought that the zombification of Sophia might occur, part of me was hoping that it wouldn’t. Not that it really shocks me that the show would go there because apparently the graphic novels are more explicit than this (I have not read the graphic novels…. I want to… but yeah, I haven’t gotten the opportunity); however, the death of the first child character changes the dynamic of the show a bit.

1) We lose another character that is more directly going to affect and influence the emotions of the remainder of the characters in the show. When Andrea’s sister Amy was bitten and died in the first season,  we didn’t bat an eye because she was taken in as part of the zombie collateral damage… When  Jacqui and Dr. Jenner decided to die in the CDC cleansing, we contemplated how bad that would be in a world filled with zombies. Yet, something about the defenseless twelve-year-old girl changes everything… even as Rick had to shoot her, we all knew that it was the only logical course of action… but you couldn’t help but feel for the stumbling little Sophia and everyone in the crowd as any hope they had in the zombie world came crashing down…

 

2) Lori’s pregnancy becomes even more problematic and scary… With the death of Sophia one of the precious children that the group wanted to protect, Lori’s concerns and thoughts for wanting to abort the pregnancy (albeit with morning after pills that would probably only mess up the child rather than abort it because she’s so far along) become even more realistic… They couldn’t protect Sophia, what makes them think they can protect a newborn.

3) The group is going to be even more disparate. Let’s face it… the death of Sophia is going to set many members of the group on edge and rightly so. Additionally, I think that it will make the whiny characters more whiny and the resolved / strong characters stronger… if it goes against this, I think that it would be refreshing… However, I think that I will probably be correct… Still, I am intrigued by what might happen with Hershal and his family as a result of Walker Slaying 2011… yeah…

By Uploaded to Commons by Xeworlebi, self created (Self created, design from the shows intertitle) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Whatever happens with the rest of this second season, I hope that it will continue to move along at a decent pace. Before the break, I felt as if at times the show began to drag… However, now that the main plot point keeping them in one place has been resolved, it seems that the season should move toward an epic conclusion… one can only hope.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm