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That Is My Wife: Reproductive Futurism and Patriarchal Competition

  • John R. Ziegler
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter examines the oppressive relational dynamics engendered in The Walking Dead by reproductive futurist ideology. This dynamic of competition and ownership plays out in the conflict between Rick and Shane over Lori and Lori’s children. That this competition results in conflict and death rather than a cooperative adjustment of familial structure demonstrates the tenacity of heteronormative ideology. Even Carl ignores queer possibilities, and the competition over Lori and her children also foregrounds the significance of the symbolic Child, worth killing and dying for and able to temporarily redeem even the Governor. Occasionally, Rick briefly seems willing to reimagine family relationships, and the adherence of many characters to patriarchal norms repeatedly causes violence and death, even as the franchise frequently aligns itself with these norms.

Keywords

The Walking Dead Nuclear family Reproductive futurism Patriarchy Heteronormativity 

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Episodes Referenced

  1. “18 Miles Out” (season 2, episode 10, 2012)Google Scholar
  2. “Better Angels” (season 2, episode 12, 2012)Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Ziegler
    • 1
  1. 1.English DepartmentBronx Community College, CUNYBronxUSA

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