The end of the world is a big deal, especially if that means that the complete and final destruction is going to be due to an epidemic killing millions. What’s even scarier is the fact that a nation can go up or down based on an individual’s emotions or their ability to present those emotions to the public. During an interview in Robben Island the Cape Town province in Africa, scholar, and historian Xolelwa Azania give insight on a man named Paul Redeker, whose controversial plan helped South Africa turn a new leaf.
Paul’s personality during his approach to a new idea can be described as, “Dispassionate, a rather mundane word to describe one of history’s most controversial figures (105).” Redeker allowed his emotions to get in the way of programmatic solutions which in turn could have hindered what the human race could achieve.
When the government called him during the great panic, he was ready. The plan assumed that many individuals would die, gathering military forces into one defendable area to eliminate those infected with the epidemic.
Other citizens would be forced into isolation zones which would act as “human bait” for the zombies. Redeker presented his plan to the government and they acted in outrage. Yet, Redeker would be the one to shock the people into a new insight to become the savior of its people. It only took one person for Redeker to change their insight and help turn the heads of others, “This plan will save our people.
Then he said gesturing to Paul – This man will save our people. …He embraced the white Afrikaner… That is when I stepped in, in those chaotic weeks when the Redeker Plan was implemented throughout the country. It took some convincing to say the least, but once ld convince them that I’d worked for many years with Paul Redeker, and, more importantly, I understood his way of thinking better than anyone left alive in South Africa, how could they refuse? (110/111).” It is believed that Redeker is this “dispassionate” person because he couldn’t bear the cruelty of the world, so he made himself emotionally constipated – when in reality this is touchindeepdeeply inside. Just like Paul was able to show the people that it leaped insanity to make a giant step forward, Brooks can show in his different interviews throughout the novel that different statements have different meanings and it may take a leap of faith to listen to an old story in a new perspective.
Which in turn could help save millions. This zombie story in WWZ and this interview specifically help people give a fictional lens through to see the real problems of the world. Maybe the world needs to listen to a current-day Paul Redeker to help address the famine, disease, and chaos in the streets in our current society today.
World War Z has many roads to lead to blaming with all fingers pointing back at the government. According to dictionary.com, a government can be described as: “the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states.” With that being said, a misleading government can lead to misleading its people – into chaos. Taking a step into the book, we come to listen to an interview with a man by the name of Jurgen Warmbrunn who loves Ethiopian food. Warmbrunn discusses during the conversation over dinner, “Most people don’t believe something can happen until it has. That is not stupidity or weakness, that is just human nature. I don’t blame anyone for not believing (32).” The topic of choice here shows that our human nature could have led to the downfall of the government, which in reality, is supposed to be the backbone of society. If the government, or the people in the government, does not take seriously valuable information that is being passed along about a terrible epidemic that is about to hit its people, then how can it properly prepare them? It cannot. When the government does not show an interest in a situation, the crowd to whom they appear reflects that lack of interest. A state is not going to worry about a drought if they think that they have enough water for the grass. Just like the world is not going to panic about a terrible epidemic if the government does not show a sense of urgency. With that being said, this also shows another valuable point, “To test for something, you have to know what you’re looking for. We didn’t know about the walking Plague then. We were concerned with conventional ailments – hepatitis or HIV/AIDS – and we didn’t even have time to test for those (22).” The government was so concerned about its “current” situation, but this statement shows that they did not even worry about their “future” situation. In the interview, Israel knew that something was wrong but no other government decided to leave their comfort zone and act upon the information they were given.
The governments not taking a stand with this new information given, this shows that the reports that were given to them were ignored. These reports were foren by Israel to help include all information needed to make sure that the outbreak that was about to hit never reached epidemic proportions. If the government would have allowed themselves and been open to the idea, they possibly could have begun to test and prevent this terrible crisis from occurring. If the crisis were not to have occurred, then maybe the rest of the world could have enjoyed Ethiopian food with Mr. Warmbrunn at the Falasha Restaurant.
First-hand accounts help us realize certain things based on personal experience. By Brooks conducting anonymous interviews in WWZ as a stylistic device throughout the whole novel, he can prove his point in a different view rather than just explaining to us a generic zombie story. The interview in part 7 set place in Beijing China encompasses the idea that brooks are trying to get across. Brooks tries to show us real-world problems like death, famine, a corrupt government, etc. and put them into personal experiences to help us understand the big picture. Admiral Xu Zhicai expresses his true colors about China, “I’ll say this before I say anything else, we loved our country, we loved our people, and while we may not have loved those who ruled, both, we were unwaveringly loyal to our leadership (233).” Admiral’s statement shows that no matter what the circumstance, people are loyal to their government, its morals, and its beliefs. Just like in the present-day time, or even in past world events like Hitler and the Nazis.
Hitler made a stand and the people followed him – they did as he did. In WWZ, people all over the world followed their government, and they ended in a bad result. Admiral Xu is questioned during the interview if the information he is giving is important, but Xu just keeps telling his story. Just as XU is a survivor with a story, so are all of these interviews in WWZ, together painting one big picture. Each survivor has important details to tell that may or may not be relevant, but they are essential to each survivor to portray an overall message. As the interaction continues between the narrator and the admiral, Xu finally lets the interviewer in on the big secret, “this enemy would die before it fired. Just before he gave the order, we detected a signal on the “Gertrude,” the American term for an underwater telephone. It was commander Chen, the captain’s son, proclaiming peaceful intentions and requesting that we stand down from GQ (253).” This statement by the admiral shows his vulnerability as a human being, with a problem being his son. This shows that humans have flaws and that anything can lead an individual down a wrong path based on their environmental influences. Brooks has big ideas in his book like how a government would react, influential leaders et,c. This comment by the survivor shows that leaders can think in their best interest of themselves based on their past histories. These individual interviews show and give us a taste of how personal experiences blend to show us the big picture. In the interview we find out that Admiral Chen died, mentioning how good his boy was – maybe to show us that ultimately at the eninman can be good?