Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Walking Dead: Zombies Aren't the Only Evil

Marcotte touched base, but did not fully describe, the show "The Walking Dead".  She had mentioned that this show also had its fair share of focusing on a man's problems with masculinity as a form of feminist text.  I do agree, and thought I should explain further some evidence to support that.
The main character, Rick, who is a sheriff, is a crucial character that portrays struggles with masculinity.  It is emphasized even more by Shane, Rick's partner on the police force.  While Rick works to keep the group not only alive, but together as a cohesive network, Shane is busy asserting his masculinity.  For example, when the young daughter of a group member goes missing, Rick encourages the group to search for her but Shane argues continuously about moving on and assuming she was dead rather than risk the group's safety during a search.  In this situation and throughout the show Rick displays dedication to truth, forgiveness and selflessness, while Shane expresses more care for survival, violence and independence.  Shane is, without much argument, the most hated character on the show because of his portrayal as an evil, hyper-masculine male, who ends up being sinister and detrimental to the group.  The fine line between survival and maintaining humanity is always a point of consideration in every episode of the current season of "The Walking Dead".  Rick, who strongly believes in a just and humane world, struggles to uphold a hyper-masculine image of himself.  Shane in turn sees Rick as an ineffective leader because of his lack of "manliness" and gumption.  In this clip Rick and Shane are arguing over whether or not to kill a young boy because of his affiliation with a potentially harmful group of hijackers.  At approx. 45sec in, Shane tells Rick that he doesn't think Rick can keep his family safe.  The clip demonstrates well what I was earlier trying to explain about how Shane thinks a leader should lead.  I could potentially go on and on about Rick, and a few other characters that show feminist text through their portrayal in the group.  Overall, I believe "The Walking Dead" is appealing in many of the same ways that "Mad Men" is because of how it portrays the harm that comes with hyper-masculinity.

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