Facing it Head on

When the world you live in starts crumbling into pieces, what do you do? You can’t just sit and watch it fall apart. If I were a head of state in World War Z, I would have voted yes during the Honolulu Conference. The decision of choosing to attack the zombies full-force isn’t unethical, unlike the Redeker Plan. There was no use of “human bait” (Brooks 109) in the decision to attack. There was always the concern that many lives would be lost in the full-fledged attack against the zombies, but there wasn’t a question of whether or not something is ethical in the decision made at the conference.

Basically, there are two options that the people at the Honolulu Conference could consider. Firstly, the people could have waited until all the zombies just rotted away. The problem with that would be that no one would know how long that would take. The idea of idly sitting on our hands and not doing anything would lead to anxiety and uneasiness in many people. Because the living dead “robbed us of our confidence as the planet’s dominant life form” (Brooks 267), being more powerless would not be the best solution. In order to be “the planet’s dominant life form” (Brooks 267), humans have to be in power and in control, but if humans just sat and waited for the zombies to rot away, they would not be the ones in power. In response to not being able to help the puppies at the pet store a block away from his house, Darnell said, “’What could I have done?… Something” (Brooks 292). In the future, like Darnell Hackworth, people would  wish that they did something in response to the zombie war instead of waiting.  If there was an attack on the zombies, we would at least know what was happening and going on. We would also somewhat be in control of the process of events. Therefore, the vote to attack during the Honolulu Conference would have been the faster, more efficient route towards ending this war with the disease that reanimated the dead. Even though the enemy could “simply rot away” (Brooks 265) over time, the disease could be spread again through one zombie. Even if there were a couple zombies left, only one of them would have to bite another healthy human being for them to become infected. If even a small number of the undead were left alive, there would still be chance for the disease to spread again into a full-scale epidemic.

Image result for comic of war            Image result for humans fighting zombies

In addition, the world war that is being fought in this book is different from a typical world war. Typically, a world war involves two different sides fighting against each other because of their different beliefs on an issue. However, in World War Z, the healthy, living humans are fighting the infected, undead zombies. The zombies, since they don’t have brains, don’t really have a thought going through their head. The war being fought isn’t regarding a certain stand on an issue. Rather, the healthy humans are fighting an epidemic that has been brought to life through the form of zombies. Normally, an epidemic is transferred from one human to another through different routes, but it’s hard to see exactly who has the disease. Also, the disease is just an agent in the background. In World War Z, it’s extremely evident to people as to who is infected or not, which gives life to the disease. The disease is now tangible, to a certain extent, meaning that there is now a certainty that if you shoot the brain of the zombie, you know for sure that that specific zombie can no longer spread the disease anymore. The image of fighting an epidemic in an active, somewhat living form as zombies creates an image regarding how terrifying and detrimental the effects of an epidemic are.


  • First picture- http://www.bleedingcool.com/2010/06/15/dc-go-to-war-on-2-99-price-point/
  • Second picture- https://fwis191fall2016.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/2a2bc-dead-rising-3-screenshot-zombies.jpg

One thought on “Facing it Head on

  1. I found it interesting that you discussed the conflict in terms of both war and epidemic, as that’s how I perceive the fight against the zombies as well. The government must act against the zombies on both levels, in attempting to contain the outbreak and kill the other side. How do you think the government or other leaders would have acted if they only viewed the conflict on a single level? If this were solely thought of as an epidemic, would there have been a possibility of implementing the Redeker plan, as perhaps then morals would seem to outweigh the benefits?
    I also agreed with your interpretation on how this isn’t a war in the “typical” sense of the word. The zombies aren’t typical “enemies,” they’re the personification of the disease. However, in “typical” war, I think that the other side can sometimes grow to be a kind of personification of the enemy, through government propaganda.


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