Reviving the Romantic and Gothic traditions in contemporary zombie fiction
Maye, Valerie Renee
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This paper combines concepts from Romantic and Gothic literature with ecocriticism in order to discuss eco-zombies in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well as the film, 28 Days Later and the texts that follow the film: the graphic novel, 28 Days Later: The Aftermath by Steve Niles, and the comic books series, 28 Days Later , by Michael Alan Nelson. Throughout this paper, nature, primarily through the eco-zombie interpretation of it, is read as a character in order to determine how much agency nature has over the human characters within the texts and film being discussed. The use Todorov’s narrative theory, in this paper, depicts the plots of these stories, specifically the changes to the lives of these characters and how they are affected by nature in various ways, to depict nature’s ever growing assertiveness over the humans that encounter it as well as how those humans attempt to overcome the disruptions that nature places on their sense of self. Both Frankenstein’s monster and the infected in 28 Days Later , when seen as eco-zombies, and therefore granting agency to nature, exert power of humans through physically affecting them as well as mentally.