Although traditionally only on the fringes of the Gothic, zombies have dominated the cultural landscape of the twenty-first century thanks to their metaphorical richness. This chapter identifies two main types of zombie narratives that have predominated in film and literature since 2002: viral zombie narratives and sympathetic zombie ones. Analysing the former in texts like World War Z (2006), The Girl with All the Gifts (2014), Z Nation (2014–18), Fear the Walking Dead (2015–) and Feed (2010) allows me to show how the aggressive virulence of new zombies is connected to an inherently pessimistic view of present power structures. I then consider the conscious and humanised zombies in texts like Wasting Away (2007), Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament (2009), Warm Bodies (2013), In the Flesh (2013–14) and Generation Dead (2008) in order to explore how this monster stands in for the social repression of the gendered, sexual or disabled Other.
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