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Out of the Barn: Alternative Families and the Undead

  • John R. Ziegler
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the incorporation of zombies in The Walking Dead into characters’ domestic or family lives. Jessie emblematically refuses to let go of either Carl or her own zombie-bitten son, and the Governor cohabitates with and accommodates zombie child Penny. Notably, in failures to contain zombie children’s queer threat to reproductive futurism, Penny’s fate in the comics remains unresolved, as does Duane’s, the zombified son with whom Morgan has been living. The Whisperers live with zombies, wear their skins, and no longer abide by conventional sexual morality or nuclear family structure, but Alpha still sends her daughter to live with Rick’s people. Such breakdowns of zombie/human and queer/heteronormative boundaries, along with the repeated transgressions against reproductive futurism, demonstrate heteronormativity’s simultaneous durability and fragility.

Keywords

The Walking Dead Zombie child Family Penny Whisperers 

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Episodes Referenced

  1. “Made to Suffer” (season 3, episode 8, 2012)Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Ziegler
    • 1
  1. 1.English DepartmentBronx Community College, CUNYBronxUSA

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