Representations of Post-Apocalypse in Colson Whitehead’s Novel Zone One
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The aim of this essay is to relate Colson Whitehead’s novel Zone One to the framework James Berger presents in his book After the End on post-apocalyptic fiction; to find answers to the questions: what are post-apocalyptic representations and what purpose do they serve? Why does America produce so much post-apocalyptic fiction? How do post-apocalyptic representations and repressed trauma work? The essay establishes how Zone One and James Berger’s framework converge on three main topics: the nature of post-apocalyptic language, the notion of post-apocalyptic fiction as a result of repressed traum,a and the use of post-apocalyptic fiction as social critique.
Language adaption is important not only as a way to produce the break between the literary now and the literary then but also as a way to present certain aspects of the critique that the novel puts forward, such as the parody of the political use of slogans. It also reveals how post-apocalyptic fiction works as a way for societies such as America to work through repressed traumas like that of 9/11 that does not fit into the idea of a perfect society. The essay shows how Whitehead through his use of zombie fiction reveals societal fears such as fear of the other and fear of de-individualization in modern American society.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 23 p.
Whitehead, James Berger, Post-apocalypse, Zombie, Post-humanism
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86932OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-86932DiVA: diva2:599813
Vermeulen, Pieter, Lecturer