Study Guide

The Walking Dead The Home

By Robert Kirkman

The Home

[Rick's house.] (69)

Rick's house is the first place he goes after getting out of the hospital… and it's almost completely destroyed. The air conditioner has been flung out the window, shutters are busted, glass is broken, even the American flag is shredded. In America now, no homes are safe. Right off the bat, the concept of "home" is upended.

"Oh, you're awake. We're just getting ready to have dinner." (88)

Morgan invites Rick into his home even though the "invitation" was prompted by Rick getting whacked in the head with a shovel, and the home isn't really his home—he's squatting. But still, he makes Rick feel at home, and you have to take hospitality where you can get it in a zombie-infested world. It's his first experience of human contact in the deserted town. Being offered dinner must have been a normalizing kind of experience. Morgan's still trying to make a home in the midst of disaster.

"Before they stopped broadcasting, they told us to relocate to the bigger cities. They said they could protect us all there. I figured I'd be better off taking my chances here." (95)

You often think of your home as a safe place, but many people fled their homes for the city when they were told their house wasn't safe anymore. We wonder how many of them thought they'd eventually return.

"It's not like we're stealing the place… your neighborhood just seemed safer." (101)

Even during a zombie apocalypse, the cardinal rule of real estate applies when selecting a home: location location location. In this case, a location far away from zombies. The rules about squatting, however, no longer apply.

"We're neighbors. Keep an eye on my house for me." (131)

Up until he leaves for Atlanta, Rick still thinks he'll be returning home someday. He doesn't realize that he'll probably never see it again. This speaks to how just the idea of home can be a comfort when you're heading into a dangerous situation. It's what keeps soldiers going when they're overseas fighting.

[A house in Georgia.] (159)

This house looks relatively safe on the outside. Clean. Undamaged. But you can only know the true state of a home by going inside. Inside, the father of the family appears to have killed his entire family, then himself, to avoid becoming victims of the zombies. The image is a tragically ironic statement on the home = safety equation.

KNOCK! KNOCK! "Anybody home?! I'm coming in…" (160-162)

Rick still respects basic etiquette rules, even during the zombie apocalypse. He knocks politely at the front door of someone's home. We can't see, but he probably even wipes his feet before he enters.

[Rick wakes up in his tent with Lori and Carl.] (299)

The tent might not seem like much, but it's now Rick's home. At least it is as long as his family is there with him. It's the place of comfort. Robert Frost was right.

"We need to move camp. It's not smart to be this close to a city full of those things." (395)

Shane sees the camp as temporary. He thinks this crisis will be over soon. But Rick, who's speaking here, realizes that they need a more permanent solution. The camp might be their home for a while, and it needs to be safe.

"The week after I retired the wife and I bought that camper and set out to see America. We'd been on the road the better part of two years when everything started happening." (578)

Dale got to bring his home, his RV, with him when the zombie outbreak happened. That's probably a double-edged sword for him (not one good for chopping up zombies, either). He has his home for comfort, but it also reminds him of his wife and the life he used to have.