The theme of the role of gender in the society is well pronounced across the successive scenes in The Walking Dead. On the one hand, men have the charge and the resources to take cover and control the livelihood of either gender. On the contrary, women are termed vulnerable and portrayed as helpless when it comes to terribly compelling and dreadful incidents, as is manifested by their getting into harm`s way and dropping their guns when they needed the equipment most. Nevertheless, when it comes to domestic chores like doing laundry, women are the platform after that all these happen, hence their indispensable being in this apocalyptic world (Kirkman 67). On the contrary, later on in the series, robust and daring female characters like Andrea do emerge to uphold the masculine roles with efficiency, hence the dynamism and diversity in gender roles thereof. In fact, it is disconcerting for the author to describe the society in such a lawless esteem, considering that fears have escalated, hope lost, and despair set in; a situation cultivated by the falling economy and degraded civilization characterized with proliferating zombies. In this world where apocalyptic sentiments dominate, the role of gender, violence, sexuality-based discrimination, and social deconstruction are shaping up in unprecedented spheres (Rathburn 339). Moreover, it is manifest that even in the apocalypse and zombie dominated the environment, the patriarchal nature of gender outlines still reign. Indeed, women are the lesser force compared to their male counterparts, and the realities of sexism and the violence related to sexuality compel women to pay it with their flesh so they may emerge safely from the stereotypical gender constructs.
In a broader view on gender, the retro gender norms are manifested by perpetually conservative characters in the text. In most cases, such men talk about the need to recognize and appreciate that protection of women is essential. Whereas men are entitled to protect the farms and the camps, women must do the cooking and random cleaning. Nevertheless, Andrea is an exception to such norms for instance. As opposed to her female counterparts, Andrea has the boldness to go round the perimeter of the settlement; shooting and killing zombies while she patrols. In general, though, women in this post-apocalyptic ecosystem have chosen the back seat, to watch and wait while men decide on their destiny. Women are denied the influence and power to live themselves to their potential. Withdrawal of such autonomy is witnessed when Andrea`s gun is taken by Dale, “What Lies Ahead,” and backed up by the misconstrued and rapist Shane, as though she were a child (Adlard 432). More surprising is that a minor, the 11-year-old Carl, is allowed to own and carry around an ammunition while the experienced and adult Andrea is denied chance by gender. In fact, Dale goes forth to disapprovingly comment about Maggie and Andrea related to their sexuality. On the other hand, when it comes to family planning, women are left on their own to take care and be responsible for their pregnancies. For instance, Lori realizes in surprise that she is pregnant, she is badly scolded by Glenn for failing to take her vitamins. Gee goes ahead to reinforce Glenn`s abuse that he was lucky Lori had not conceived for the first time.
The role of gender in The Walking Dead is a dynamic experience across the scenes. The purpose and empowerment of the female characters are steadily paralyzed and taken away by the male gender. Indeed, at a critical analysis, Lori appears to be the sole catalyst behind the effort to perpetrate masculinity and propel gender stereotypes in the text (Rathburn 234). Glenn notes to Maggie that he was verily destructed never to shoot at the bar, only because he was obsessed with thinking about Lori. When eventually Maggie makes an acceptance that this in “18 Miles Out,”, it is unfortunate when Lori says to Maggie that she “should let the men do their man-work” and that “it’s women’s jobs to support the men” (Kirkman 543). Furthermore, Lori tells Maggie to inform Gee to be robust as a man, “Tell him to man up” (Kirkman 324). Therefore, according to Lori, and the caliber of women she represents in this case, women are the only beings allowed to be sentimental and emotional, but not men. Later on, Lori is witnessed scolding her colleague, Andrea, for burdening another female friend, by not washing and cooking. Lori insists that Andrea should in entirety withdraw from chores destined for males, just like a good little woman would do (Petsko 67). In fact, Lori falls out with Andrea when she maintains her purpose of patrolling and protecting others just like males do. Therefore, the role of the men and females is centered around sexism, and to a significant extent, women are the enemies of their female counterparts in the process.
The book The Walking Dead gives reader realistic depictions of how men and women might interact if a zombie apocalypse were to occur. In essence, everyone is under pressure, and all individuals are trying to survive the situation. At a mention of zombies, human psychology is drifted to the extreme limits, and all efforts are made to counter the position. Moreover, a post-apocalyptic world means people would specialize in their responsibilities so that at least men and women play notable roles to save the society. Nevertheless, most importantly is that anybody gifted in whichever way of approach could put in place their skills to make the situation habitable. Furthermore, it is true that the book gives the readers a premonition of what would happen in a zombie dominated world. Additionally, the present day situation across the globe that is characterized by terrorism, natural disasters, epidemics, war and financial collapse are threats that would compel humanity in the twenty-first century to imagine the happening of an apocalypse. Indeed, apparently, a month hardly passes without something horrible happens the world over, including earthquakes, floods, wildfires, terrorist attacks and ailments like Ebola. Indeed, after all these terrible scenarios set in, a situation of every person for themselves comes in place, struggle, and deprivation of peace and freedom become real, and despair dominates humanity (Kirkman 451).
On the other hand, the book makes every reader believe that humanity is full of individuals who are merely zombie fanatics because of the attractedness to gore and bloody images. Nevertheless, a critical approach reveals that this book is an evidenced example of how people would react if something of such epic proportions happened. One wonders whether they could save all their family members and continue to offer perpetual protection. Moreover, whether taking control and maintaining sanity for the common good or to abandon, join, or become oblivious of religion and social cohesion would do. Many options would become real, including wandering around, remaining hopeless, and manifesting a lifeless daze. In essence, The Walking Dead is a book that gives one an opportunity to imagine and visualize what would really happen if the unthinkable came to pass. On the contrary, for those who are fascinated by the gore and blood oozing experience, that could be the case too, and such sets an example of the expected just in case it did.