World War Z

Fighting the Zombie Within: America's Role in World War Z College

America. The land of the free. This country’s foundation was built on individuality, on autonomy, and on the ability to “pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps” and begin again. Today, however, this individualistic spirit has manifested itself as selfishness and egocentricity in many North Americans. Max Brooks’ World War Z is about combating the loss of individuality; when the American characters fight the zombies, they are also indirectly fighting the mindless consumers they themselves have become. In order to fight both the real zombies and the “zombie within”, the citizens of America have to abandon their materialistic lifestyle, acclimate to the global reversal of social order, adapt to their new world, and accept that their lives will never be the same again.

Many North Americans today can be defined as mindless consumers. Every obscure self-definition fits into a category that can be easily marketed. Whether you are a punk or a nerd or a princess, that label can be bought and sold. Our identity is defined by purchases: whether one has a Macintosh computer or a PC, a Blackberry or an iPhone. In this culture, opportunities for distinction are rare. It is not hard to see the...

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