American Soldier Zombie Tales: The Desperate, the Drafted, and the Dead

Kristine Hart, John Paul


This paper explores an under-examined subgenre of the scholarly zombie canon: soldiers who have returned as the undead. The primary theme of this paper is that zombies are an apt metaphor for military soldiers. Indeed, throughout the history of U.S. warring actions, soldiers often seem to be treated like faceless, disposable units sent to enforce the will of the country. So stated, our work explores the warrior zombie in literature and film, from three distinct time periods: the US Indian Wars, World War I, and the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts. The specific works examined include two short literary works, “Ghost Dance” by Sherman Alexie and “Herbert West: Reanimator” by H.P. Lovecraft, and one film, “Homecoming” written by Sam Hamm and directed by Joe Dante. We contend that the military zombie is a metaphor for persons conscripted into combat against their own social, political, and economic wills.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)

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