Fans of "The Walking Dead" might be concerned going into Season 3 with the introduction of The Governor and the townsfolk of Woodbury. Some viewers might see a shift from the walkers being the main antagonist to humans being the main antagonists and become concerned about a loss of the show's integrity. In actuality, humans have been strong antagonists up to this point, and it is important to see the difference between the two types of antagonists to see the full impact of an imaginary zombie apocalypse. It is also time for Rick to see how bad things can really get.
Symbolism of humans as antagonistsOn "The Walking Dead," humans who are working as antagonists symbolize the loss of humanity during an apocalypse. Shane lost his humanity when he confused his want of being in a family with Lori and Carl with need. His need pushed him to the point that he would kill his best friend to take control of his perceived need. Dr. Jenner lost his humanity when he gave up on trying to succeed and believed he had the right to make decisions for other people when he was preparing to blow up the CDC building. Rick and the group almost lost their humanity when they were going to kill Randal to keep themselves safe from a perceived threat.
WoodburyAmericans could easily believe that society would collapse if a collective loss of humanity were to occur. Every time a character shows a loss of humanity on "The Walking Dead," we wonder how it will impact the group since Rick, and many of the other survivors, are doing everything they can to hold onto their humanity. Woodbury is such an abomination in the eyes of sane people because it is a society which is held together by the loss of The Governor's humanity. It is a perfect contrast to Rick's group of survivors.
Symbolism of zombies as antagonistsWhere a human as an antagonist on "The Walking Dead" symbolizes the loss of humanity, a zombie symbolizes the loss of humanness. The loss of humanity can be viewed as the loss of the morals and ethics, which makes a person "human" in Western civilization. A zombie is no longer truly human, and no matter what Hershel used to believe, walkers are no longer human. The realization of the loss of humanness in the walkers progresses the loss of humanity in particular characters.
Humans have taken the place of antagonists since "The Walking Dead" began. The introduction of The Governor and Woodbury makes sense right now as it is important to show a complete contrast to Rick's group and show how far the loss of the walkers' humanness can progress a human's loss of humanity. At the same time, with the emergence of Rick as the supreme leader of the group, everyone needs to see how deadly a single leader can be when he or she has lost the will to hold on to his or her humanity.
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