“Zombie” Write Up by Camryn Davis


Chuck Palahniuk’s “Zombie” really exploits and brings light to the common trend of, well following trends, which is even more prevalent when you’re a teenager. Throughout the course of the story, students began to shock themselves one after another. There’s already a ton of pressure on teenagers, so as soon as someone came up with a way to get out of that pressure without being dead – everyone joined in.

The writing of this piece is so great to me, because it changes from being serious to a joke about the Kardashians in a second. Instead of seeing all the negative side effects of using the defibrillator, Trevor is blinded by the positives of acne clearing up and hooking up. This style of writing fit really well with this type of character, and I think it really makes Trevor’s character more believably a teenager. Words that are used and reactions to what’s happening around him really help create this commonly written anxious, confused kid.

Onto one of the most important parts of the story: the defibrillator. The defibrillator in a literal sense is their weapon of choice, but could easily be argued to stand for something more metaphorical. Without the defibrillator, the story would be more generic (as it would more likely than not be about suicide) and be seen as less interesting. Defibrillators are something we see occasionally, and the fact that these kids used it to shock themselves with something that everyone has seen is slightly frightening.

This story also plays a lot with what is usually admired in people when they’re young and how intelligence is valued as much as it should be, and how being attractive is seen as more important. Trevor mentions how his friends are living the dream because they’re still “smoking hot” but “dumber than ever.” This pokes fun at society’s love of talking about people who are attractive, but lacking in the intelligence department. This story was incredibly good at relating small details to how we, as a whole, think.

At the end of the story, when everyone links arms, I think it’s a very powerful scene. This scene shows how everyone goes through something difficult, and by having people relate to things in the story, it also helps us understand how universal the story really was.

Something I think we can put into our writing from this is Palahniuk’s ability to create so much emotion in one short piece. This story was able to be funny, ironic, dark, dejected, and hopeful in a mere 10 pages. The tone of this story was so unique and different in almost every paragraph. The story was straightforward and got its message across while still being sincere.

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