Friday, November 7, 2014

WBI: Zombies (Pride and Prejudice Variety)

Instead of doing homework in first period, I finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith and instead of doing homework in fifth period I’m writing about it. In a nutshell, it’s the good old romance but with zombies and death. It’s pretty awesome.

via Goodreads
Though the Bennett sisters face a variety of foes, I’d like to acknowledge the major change in the plot: the zombies.

How zombies came to be is not addressed, all that we know is that they have overrun England. The dead rise from their graves as the disease spreads, and those who touch them can be confronted with the disease as well. Though they can be killed with swift beheadings, they are not easily killed and drone through England, forever in pursuit of more brains.

WBI Profile

Classification :: Γ35
Role :: Body (large group that appears to function as one unit)
Motivation :: Psychology, 3 (referring to the innate desire to eat brains); Lifestyle, 5 (brains are a zombie’s normal diet)
Bonus :: N/A

A Study

HUGE reserves—think about how many people have ever died. Now think about all of them resurrecting for the explicit purpose of eating your brain. The sheer numbers distinguish zombies.

contagious—while other Bodies must recruit their members, too close a proximity or touch will zombie-fy the living themselves.

weaknesses—many that there are, zombies individually are no match for trained warriors; they can be lured by cauliflower, captured, and killed.

heil hydra—as successful as a warrior may be, for every zombie killed there’s another ten heading towards the defenseless town, and another forty in the ground just waiting to rise again.

avoidable—some bodies dominate every aspect of life, but as prolific as the plague is, people are able to live with various degrees of normalcy. They are a problem, but not so pervasive that other plotlines cannot exist.

sympathetic—as much as the Bennetts wish to send the zombies back to hell, even Elizabeth, the fiercest, is forced to show some compassion as she recognizes the humanity once present in those corpses.

dangerous—to untrained citizens, the zombies are as much a worse-than-death sentence as anyone can imagine; only because our heroines are trained do they stand a chance, and even then, they too have their limits.

part of life—this isn’t some unfamiliar hostile takeover, or an unfortunate event that just happened to appear. It’s been there 55 years, and it shows no sign of stopping. People adapted. There’s an entirely different culture to accommodate them.

not scary—these zombies are threatening and dangerous, but they are not intended to keep you up at night worrying.

Big Idea

  • Bodies are their own characters—it’s not necessary to get into the nitty gritty of Zombie Bob’s life as long as we know two things: Zombie Bob is a zombie, and zombies eat brains.
  • group strength trumps individual weakness—Elizabeth has approximately no trouble whatsoever dispatching one zombie; it’s the tens and twenties and thirties that have truly destroyed England. 
  • problems never fly solo—yes, the zombies are bad, but somehow life continues. People fall in love, get married, eat dinner, and suffer problems associated with those things as well.
  • disturbing does not mean frightening—let’s face it: if there’s ever a real zombie apocalypse, we’re all going to die. I’m sure that’s been covered in plenty of horror movies. But however disturbing zombies might be, they can be an effective opponent without any attempt to terrify the audience. Sometimes it is the adversity, and not the concept, that makes the villain.

Zombies don’t really talk, but I think the first line of the book covers anything else I really need to say: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

How much better can you get?

Have you ever written a Body antagonist? Have you read of one? How do you think the Zombies compare to those you’ve seen in other contexts?

(Bonus Questions: Was I less confusing this time? Is the graphic helpful? You can also check out Humperdinck's WBI Post; I'll upload his diagram, and you can see what you think.)


  1. The diagram was really helpful, especially in distinguishing motivations and goals! I have a bit of trouble with that concept myself, but the diagram just made me stop and rethink it. :D

    I've heard a lot about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but never actually read it. (I did read and love World War Z though!) This portrayal of zombies sounds absolutely fascinating though, so probably I should pick it up. Y'know, add to the pile of books I bought but haven't read yet and will ignore in favour of books I've already read but want to reread ;P

    1. Excellent, I'm glad it helped! But yeah, it can be tricky to understand. :P

      My great research on Goodreads tells me that those who read PPZ either love it or hate it. Either you think that the writing sucks and it's completely disrespectful to the original work or it's hilarious and a great story. That being said, you'll have to let me know what you think because I found the zombies really interesting (although I haven't read many zombie books so I honestly don't know how they measure up).

  2. I've alway been rather skeptical of P&P with zombies. But this sounds pretty awesome!

    1. I was too—it took me a while to pick it up because I was like, "Really?" But, surprisingly, I loved it. If you read it you'll have to let me know what you think.

      (Sorry this came late. For some reason this got stuck in the spam folder.)


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