Behuniak’s “The Living Dead” and Moreman’s “Dharma of the Dead”

The two sources share several ideas, and one of them is Romero’s films as the starting point for discussing the image of zombies. However, they take different approaches and emphasize the relevant aspects of the underlining discussion. Moreman highlights various interpretations of the films, such as consumerism and a Christian one, and focuses on the director’s identity. Meanwhile, Behuniak’s point of interest is the zombie’s image, regardless of any connotations and hidden meanings, because the audience started associating it with real people.

Moreman also discusses some of the characteristics zombies possess, including their appearance, cannibalism, and others. Simultaneously, the author does not maintain that zombification is a disease or that one will necessarily view the living dead with disgust. For instance, some film characters hesitate to kill their loved ones in zombie form. The ideas contrast with those suggested by Behuniak, but they also inspire hope that people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will not be viewed as zombies someday.

At one point, Moreman compares the state of being a zombie to AD and coma due to their discomfort-inducing uncertainty. The author argues that while people, especially Christians, can accept the permanence of life or the inevitability of death, the liminal medical conditions and, by proxy, the patients are viewed as abject. Moreman also refers to healthcare specialists who tend to draw parallels between the latter and zombies. On the other hand, Behuniak also provides examples of nurses being inconsiderate of their patients and focuses on the biomedical origins of AD’s stigmatization. Both explanations can complement each other because Christian healthcare specialists are common, so their attitude towards the condition is simultaneously impacted by the beliefs and the dehumanizing approach. Perhaps, for them, abandoning the metaphor will prove difficult.

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