Inspired by “On Writing” by Stephen King, I decided to write, assigned by my creative writing professor, about a topic I am well familiar with. I am curious to whomever reads this blog, what is it about The Walking Dead that keeps you watching week after week? Is it specifically your love of zombies and the world of zombies? Or maybe you love a few of the characters, Daryl, and hoping they make the cut the next week like watching an episode of Survivor? Here is my reason. Enjoy.
On “The Walking Dead”
What would I think if I were to wake up to a world which has been completely transformed? The roads are clogged with immovable vehicles, some with rotting carcasses inside. Many houses are vacant but for the few that are used as fortresses. Their windows boarded up, doors are barricaded, and pantries stocked up with an assortment of canned foods. Restaurants and grocery stores are no longer bustling businesses but scenes of mass looting. The “people” that walk, no drag, their slack bodies around in search of the living. They are “The Walking Dead.” Rules for the game of life have changed, and my survival depends on figuring them out. Every direction I turn, death has reared its ugly face. I can run in search of some place safe, but that’s just a lie. I can fight and fight and fight until exhaustion takes over, and then fight some more, however; no matter how many battles I win the war can’t be won.
When I tune in for the show on Sunday nights, it’s not to see the skulls bashed or blood and guts ripped from the living. I’m there to follow the lives of those who struggle for hope in a hopeless world. Each person has had to watch friends and family taken from them in such devastating fashion. They carry the burden like sandbags placed on their hearts, and the only way to sustain the weight is through the help of their companions. What’s interesting is how each individual handles the life they have been given. Rick surges forward with the goal in mind to find stability for his group. Each day is wrought with peril, however; up ahead there could be the answer to his prayers. A sanctuary where evil can’t enter. A home where they can finally get a full night of sleep. Darryl is the lone crossbow man who doesn’t like to be idle. Thoughts can wander during times of unproductivity. In a world like this thinking can be a hazardous exercise. He finds security in numbers, and like a soldier he fights for the man or woman beside him. There are other adversaries in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. Humans who have no respect for life. Their moral code is eat or be eaten.
As I watch “The Walking Dead”, I can’t help but compare it to the life of a parent with a child who has special needs. Actually anybody that faces death on a regular basis can relate. When my wife and I were told about our daughters’ disorder, and her ultimate fate, we both felt like we just woke up to a life in peril. We held onto faith in a brighter future for her, free from suffering. Each new drug was a new hope which got bashed in like the skulls of zombies, but we surged forward like Rick. I understand the desire not to be idle like Darryl as I busy myself with schoolwork in an effort to not think about our life…too much. We have friends and family who fight along with us and carry us when we are down. When these characters on the show lose a life and fight on I too am fighting along with them.