The original zombie narrative has been re-created and distorted in contemporary U.S. pop culture, as
So what were zombies, originally? The answer lies in the Caribbean. They weren’t endlessly-reproducing, flesh-eating ghouls. Instead, the zombie was the somewhat tragic figure of a human being maintained in a catatonic state – a soulless body – and forced to labour for whoever cast the spell over him or her. In other words, the zombie is – or was – a slave. I always find it troubling that, somewhere along the line, we forgot or refused to acknowledge this and have replaced the suffering slave with the figure of a mindless carnivore – one that reproduces, virus-like, with a bite.
While there is some nuance and variety among the many ways in which U.S. pop culture have manipulated the zombie narrative, central to almost all of those is the zombie…
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