Over the years, society tends to follow certain traditions and attitudes towards each other. People follow rules that are demonstrated by others. Society as a whole develops its kinds of morals that are considered acceptable, however; could a sudden tragedy change it all? In World War Z, Max Brooks represents how humanity as society changes thitsegular traditions and has to unite together to survive and overthrow the epidemic.
At the beginning of the story, the first attack was recorded which started with a doctor named Kwang Jingshu who went to help villagers with an issue and he knew that no other doctor would do it because younger generations were only in it for the money.
First, he was led to a hut with 6 people all lined up with similar conditions including pale grey skin, and coincidently all had bite marks that seemed to be from a human. Eventually, he was led to the patient “zero”. As he approached him he was warned by villagers “At first the villagers tried to hold me back.
They warned me not to touch him, he was cursed” (Brooks 7). The patient had the same symptoms but was dramatically worst. He ended up calling an old friend for help on the case but in the end, his friend didn’t help him at all he ended up being imprisoned and blamed for the incident.
In our society, it is often told that giving a helping hand to friends and family is something that is viewed as a positive thing, however, in desperate times the doctor was incarcerated for helping innocent villagers and asking for help from his old friend.
This is when the conflict starts to arise, the infection begins to spread.
As the story continues the zombie outbreak spreads worldwide and forces survivors to struggle to stay alive and morals begin to change drastically because of this. One of the testimonies was from a young woman, named Jesika Hendricks, who told Max Brooks how her family tried to survive the epidemic. Jesika was a young girl who lived with her family but decided to escape up north to a campsite to be more “safe”. Her Father always believed in helping the needy but he rejected this belief and on that, he saw many helpless people but only criticized them and left them alone. This is probably because the outbreak affected his trust in other people. He looked down upon the people that did try to pick up passengers even though his wife was the one that keep telling him to assist the hitchhikers. He listened to his wife for once and picked up a woman that night but found out she was injured and eventually left her on the side of the road in suspicion that she would turn into an infected. When they finally arrived at the camping site all the families shared food and were mostly friendly but when the second wave of refugees hit the site, everyone decided to forget their social manners and kept everything to themselves. Jesika was sick and her mother knew that their neighbors were making a stew and she argued with her husband that Jesika was going to die if she didn’t eat anything. Jesika said that she heard a sound and she saw her mother walking in with snow on her eye and saw her father with her radio and came back with a bucket of stew. In the end, they abandoned all principles and they did anything possible to survive and stay safe. Jesika states “They say 11 million people died that winter, and that is just in North America itself” (Brooks 129). This is when the climax officially begins; the zombie invasion spreads forcing countries to come up with some type of plan to overcome the epidemic while survivors struggle to stay alive.
All traditions and social moralities were dying slowly and all that was left were people trying to survive and come up with some kind of plan to completely get rid of the epidemic.
However, there was a plan first devised by the United States and then officially got handed over to the UN bringing all countries to come to an effort to eradicate all zombies. Although it was a long and difficult 10-year plan involving the ratio of resources, and going through tough conditions, it could not have been started without the unity of all of the countries. Eventually, the UN miraculously eliminates all remaining zombies from the ocean floor to the zombies frozen in the arctic. This is when the conflict is finally resolved in the story when all the countries unite and devise a plan to restore what once had. Although the people have suffered a huge tragedy, they can now pick up the pieces of their lives and hopefully live on. “I’m not going to say the war was a good thing, but you’ve got to admit that it did bring people together” (Brooks 335).
Society forgot all about traditions, manners, and morality when it came to survival. They knew that to survive they needed to take extreme measures that included sacrificing a large population of the Earth and sometimes ignoring their calls for help. When human beings are put in times where they need to survive they will become selfish and forget about everyone else besides their loved ones. Max Brooks’ novel “World War Z” was about how humanity lost their morality to survive but eventually had to unite together as one to fight off the zombie hordes.