Zombie Apocalypse Themes Surrounding Marriage, Family, and Survival

An illustration of a zombie.
Image credit: Pixabay

I would like to divert from my usual parenting and health niche to an unusual topic. Although this post discusses family, relationships, and mankind, I would like to discuss these in an apocalypse or doomsday scenario to shake things up.

I read an interesting post regarding the zombie apocalypse and if a marriage can survive amidst it. Seemed a bit one-sided since it focused on the "killing off" of wives who were naggers, full of complaints, controlling, and manipulative. It also stated that popular movies and TV shows that revolve around a zombie apocalypse scenario seem to all agree on that premise and do seem to ax women who portray such characters. Needless to say, in a zombie apocalypse those that appear to be strong in a world without clutter, they are weak in a world full of decay.

Marriage and the Zombie Apocalypse

I'm not sure if the author of that article was a man, but I do understand his point- marriage is about working together, complementing each other, being partners and best friends. In existing hunter-gatherer tribes such as the Ilongot or Ibilao Tribe of Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines, men and women subsist in an egalitarian relationship. This is proof that both genders are equal in worth in the tribe. One of the last native tattoo artists in the Philippines who is an elderly woman is evidence of a woman's worth in a tribe and opposes preconceived notions that men are more dominant between the two genders. If hunter-gatherer tribes, that consider men and women to be equals even as primitive their set-up may be, have the ability to survive, this should also be the case in all modern day marriages and relationships. If one tends to dominate or mistreat the other, a marriage may or can not work. Thus, it's not only the "bad" wives that get the bad end of the stick but, the "bad" husbands as well. This is what I felt the author of that article missed. It made the article look gender-biased although, I know that it was not its intent to appear so.
Ilongot men and women of
Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines
by Unknown author via Wikimedia Commons
licensed under Public Domain.

One example is the character named Carol in the hit TV series "The Walking Dead". If you had followed " The Walking Dead" since the beginning, you would know that Carol was a wife of an abusive man and a mother of a young girl. What we first saw was her weakness as she cowered before her physically and emotionally abusive husband, but what we failed to see was her ability to evolve, innovate, and thrive to survive.

Of course, many would argue that abusive husbands are usually men that are insecure, to begin with, and victimize their wives since they were victims themselves. So, it is an undeniable premise that they are the types of men that would be "killed off" first along with the nagging and control-freak wives. In a zombie apocalypse where survival is on the top of the list of priorities, those who suffer from the delusion of maintaining their ego, do not think of surviving but, think of hurting people around them. Thus, they go first.

Family and the Zombie Apocalypse

Family is all about self-sacrifice whether you are a parent, a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, a grandparent...however you are related. In a zombie apocalypse, if you are with family, things get even trickier due to the fact that you do not only have to think of your survival but, the survival of everyone else you hold dear. This a primal behavior of humans- to protect their family at all costs.

Why is it tricky? In your hope of hopes, you do not want anyone to die or become a zombie, but realistically speaking, you know you are asking too much. Most movies and TV shows show how people within a family decide, protect, sacrifice and in the case of a death/metamorphosis occurring, accept the inevitable and move on or change and when I say change, the change is so drastic that principles/morals are questioned and sometimes their sanity.

For example, in the movie "The Dawn of the Dead", part of the group fighting for survival was a couple expecting their first child. Unfortunately, the pregnant woman was bitten by one of the dead. The father (played by Mekhi Phifer) not accepting the fact that his wife was now a zombie including his unborn baby, kept quiet about the whole ordeal and even aided in the birth of his zombie baby. Did love drive him to insanity? Maybe. Needless to say, his "insanity" threatened the survival of the rest of the group.

In the hit TV series, " The Walking Dead", it addresses the family theme to a whole new level. For example, the character Morgan lost his wife when she turned into a "walker" but, refrained from killing her even if she came by their house every night. Morgan couldn't bring himself to kill the mother of his son, still loving her, knowing that his son also still loved her. It ended up being a big mistake when one day, his son decided to allow "mama" back into the house. Morgan lost his son to his wife that day.

In this respect, we can see that FAMILY makes every person HUMAN...stripping him of all his layers: naked, hopeful, wistful, bleeding, erring, all in his glory -fighting his demons from within. For a family, a person will sacrifice what he knows is right just for the people he loves. This I know is true and in the zombie apocalypse, it does not change.

Survival and the Zombie Apocalypse

Survival of the fittest- the main theme of all apocalypse movies or series. It is the will of all species even that as small as an insect to survive.

I recently watched a different zombie apocalypse movie entitled "The Girl With All the Gifts". The beginning caught my attention because of all the questions it created in my mind- why were they so scared of the children, why were the children being tested, why was the main character so clever? In this zombie apocalypse film, the zombies were called " Hungries" and humans transformed into these because of a fungus infection. What was different was the 2nd generation of infected humans, a hybrid- they talked, spoke, walked, thought, reasoned, loved and had feelings of any human being but ate flesh. Unlike any other zombie apocalypse film, this movie focused on the offspring of infected zombies. In the movie, a doctor (played by Glenn Close) was with the child, Melanie ( a girl no older than 7 or 8), explaining many of the scientific aspects of the "Hungries". Unfortunately, the good doctor, wanting to make a vaccine from the brain and spinal cord of the little girl, placed the weight of the survival of mankind on the girl's shoulders, explaining that her death (the child) will ensure the survival of her teacher (played by Gemma Arterton) who the child adores. At the end, this clever girl zombie offspring developed a logical reasoning of her own- why should she sacrifice her life when everyone can live together? And the girl set on to do just that- be with the teacher she loved in a way that is truly shocking. I do understand this sentiment, children, even as clever as Melanie, do not yet understand the concept of self-sacrifice most especially when they have been treated as unfairly as Melanie in the beginning of their life by normal humans.

All species know that they have the right to survive. If you give them hope, they will take that ounce of hope that you offer just to live a bit longer. If you twist a truth to survive, that truth may create an even darker parallel dimension. You may come out breathing but, never living at all.
Zombie apocalypse.
Image credit: Pixabay

What has tired me of " The Walking Dead" is the constant struggle for supremacy although I know that this will ring true among mankind if an apocalypse will happen. We are all spoiled and not used to manual nor hard labor. Even if I would like to think that humans would be more practical in situations such as those (World War Z), the true nature of man will come out. As one fights to survive, he will change even in the aspect of good and evil since laws will have no effect nor weight. In this scenario, one will have to become cutthroat and ruthless-to live.

In an apocalypse, we may all fall to our most primitive instincts and behavior. We will have the primal urge to protect our family, be as resourceful at all costs, and sacrifice as much as we can. If not, we will never survive.

What do you think? Will you be able to survive?


  1. You have some strong points...what it comes down to is this: when an apocalypse does happen, people will be stripped away from their comfort zones and plunged into the primitive setting whether they like it or not. Thus, relationships have to change and decisions have to become practical. If you remain prissy, you are will not be able survive. My 2 cents.

    1. You are correct. People have to revert back to their most primal instincts and urges. But modern man is a bit spoilt. It may be difficult for him to adapt but adapt he will.


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