© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
World War Z

World War Z

by Max Brooks

World War Z Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Fear

Go figure, right? A zombie novel with the theme of fear, could things get any more unoriginal? Actually, it could get way more unoriginal because Brooks truly does some interesting stuff with fear...

Education

"We don't need no education; we don't need no thought control." Well, okay. But, we're thinking that Pink Floyd might have been less anxious to break the wall had there been a zombie on the other s...

Warfare

If you couldn't guess by a visit to our "Shout-outs" section, Max Brooks loves him some military-grade weaponry. But the theme of warfare goes a little deeper than just fancy boomsticks. World War...

Primitivity

Zombies hunt humans like animals. First, they follow their quarry for miles, then they corner him, eat him alive, and leave him to rot in the forest. But they're still only the second most primitiv...

Man & the Natural World

Mankind has spent a healthy amount of its history trying to make its place in the natural world a comfortable one. In World War Z, a couple brain-craving zombies show up and undo all that hard, har...

Politics

We know what you're thinking. You want the zombie apocalypse to hit because it means you'll never have to deal with another election season again. While we feel for you, we now know the truth thank...

Prejudice

Racism has been important in zombie stories since the very beginning, and we don't mean people discriminating against zombies simply because they are zombies (a zombieist?). We can't really hold th...

Change

In World War Z, change generally comes in two flavors: tasty change, nasty change, and the occasional swirled combination of both. But the novel's consideration of change goes beyond labeling one t...

Love

Shakespeare once wrote "the course of true love never did run smooth" (source). True then, true now, and doubly true once the undead being chomping their way across the globe. Love is a problematic...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement