Monsters as icons: what zombies tell us about the Recession

l4d zombies

The notion that monster figures reflect the collective unconscious is not exactly news. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein made a bold statement about inherent alienation symptomatic of modernity while the 1950s Invisible Man addressed racial identity at the onset of the Civil Rights Movement. Even the overly sexed vamps of True Blood take cheap jabs at the GOP and the state of gay rights in America. 

But with AMC’s The Walking Dead and continued fascination with zombie games, the undead have proved to be the zeitgeist of post-recession culture. IFC News writes a piece on the flesh-eaters as a prevalent metaphor in current pop culture.

Zombies, with their deficit of life, mirror an economy of debt. Zombies, in their grunting aimlessness absent decent eating material, parallel the amount of Americans who believe we are rudderless. Decline is in the air, a sense of imperial overreach in Afghanistan (“the graveyard of empires”) and in competition with the rising nations.

With the US fatigued by partisan stalemate and colossal debt, the general climate suggests, unfortunately or not, that games from Left for Dead to Plants vs Zombies are here for a while.

Read the rest here

-Lyndsey Edelman