Would you be ready for the apocalypse? The Walking Dead asks that question every week. There is a great deal of human intrigue in the show, but the show is always asking you, the viewer, if you would be ready to deal with an apocalypse on that order. The idea goes much farther than dealing with zombies. Truly, zombies are the easy part of the apocalypse.
We live in a world where we are very connected. You know people from all over the world, and it the entire world has been overrun by an apocalypse at once, all the people you are connected to around the world are effectively gone. There is no chance you will ever see them again. The people on the show deal with those ideas every day. There are so many people they miss that they never go to to say goodbye to.
The one thing that the apocalypse creates is insecurity. You will have no idea what is going to happen the next morning. You never know when someone in your crew is going to be bitten or killed. You have no idea when you will run into other humans you cannot trust. There is not a safe place on Earth. Even if you lock down a house, there is no way to know for sure that zombies would not get in.
The Walking Dead graphically depicts the violence that is necessary to kill zombies. You would have to “kill” thousands of people who have become zombies. You can see their wedding rings. You can see them in their uniforms, and you know that they used to be somebody. However, you have to end them in order to save yourself. Many of us believe we could do that, but we need to think twice before we assume we could be that violent.
The lack of order in the world is the thing that would break most of us. We can reconcile loss, but that loss is hard to reconcile when there is no order in the world. There is not one authority on the planet that is still operating. How would you be able to resolve problems without such a structure?
On the show, all these problems are handled violently. Murdering violent people is all part of the job if you want to stay alive. It is one thing to kill a zombie that is no longer a person, but it is something else to kill a real person who is simply a thieving criminal.
You might think that you would do just fine when you are watching The Walking Dead, but you would not know unless it happened in real life. The zombie apocalypse is not all fun and games. At its heart is a tense human emotion called loss that we would all have to confront head on.