All living things on the planet, are in the constant pressure to survive and live to see another day. Survival does not only refer to living but also being able to come face-to-face with everyday struggles that the world is subjecting us to. These pressures could be financial, spiritual, emotional, work-related pressures, health and also physical pressures. Everyone is bombarded with at least one of these pressures every day. Chuck Klostermans My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead and NPRs article on Peter Dinklage: On Thrones and on His Own Terms bring out the concept of survival but on different perspectives. It highlights the everyday struggles of humans in their natural environments as portrayed in the films AMCs series The Walking Dead and HBOs series Game of Thrones. In this paper we shall analyze Chuck Klostermans My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead and NPRs article on Peter Dinklage: On Thrones and on His Own Terms and identify how each of them view their world, the struggles they go through and how they survive in each of them.
To Klosterman life is interesting, and the more we live it, the more challenging it becomes. He introduces his concept by saying that zombies are a value stock though they are wordless, with a dead brain, and that they are a target rich environment both literally and also figuratively because the more they are filled with bullets, the more interesting they become. He points out that the Zombie business has gained a popular interest over the last forty years. Zombies are creatures that cannot think, they cannot talk, but their only motive is to consume flesh. The zombies are adjusting themselves to fit the word that is rather offensive to them, and what is more intriguing is that they are extremely easy to kill. According to Klosterman, zombies are representations of what people fear. It is observed that people are not interested in facing their own unconscious fears but more into allegories of how to survive on a daily basis. To Klosterman, survival is more about ignoring ones fears and facing the world with the little courage that one has.
Dinklage discovers that ones weakness is overcome by amplifying the strength one possess. He is portrayed as Tyrion Lannister in the film and he is considered weak in an era characterized by the blood-soaked power play, which comes one after the other. It is a world where brute strengths mark the difference between life and slow death. Dinklage himself is just 5 feet tall, but despite his height, he emerges as one of the strongest characters. Dinklages biography as it seems has not been an easy path because he is described turning down roles that made jokes out of his height. His breakthrough is realized in the film Station Agent, and his character in the HBOs series wins him an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for his well-played role in the series. Dinklages reservations of appearing in the movie were out of the fact that his height has not been well received in the past. It is easy to presume that he did not imagine in his wildest dreams that producers would even consider him in the series.
These articles, give a preview of just how the world is twisted. It evidently describes that everyone has a place, even the weak. Fear is something that one can easily overcome, but it is our constant downfall as humans, but yet we have found a way to survive it. On the other hand, the people who are considered outcasts in the film industry, are presented with a role, and they emerge as the best characters. It seems according to this article that mother nature accommodates everyone, and it all depends on their strengths to persist and also their power to face or ignore their inner fears.
Klosterman relates battling with zombies with humans daily battles with activities that face us. He identifies that the only strategy of doing it is blowing up its brains. The same applies to daily life, and according to him every day zombie war is a game, and it is repetitive rather than it being complex. Todays work and social life are like zombie attacks. You clear tasks for that day, but tomorrow another pile of it would have accumulated. Clearing tasks is a survival technique because one is often sure a new day comes with other activities that could be similar, hence piling them could result in exhaustion. As humans we are program to do repetitive tasks, to survive. It is crucial to note that as humans we shall probably do the same tasks until we die. Creativity is what keeps us alive according to Klosterman because unlike zombies that are stupid and uncreative, we have a way of dealing with them, and in the literal world, work can keep piling up, but we often devise ways of finishing them faster and easier.
Dinklage speaks of the fact that his character in the show is not as it is. He knows that he has to be exposed to different environments. And unlike Klostermans describing battles with similar wars, Dinklage describes battling with different wars in Hollywood. As a character, he has to find a way of being very well-rounded, and to many, this is never an easy task for a role. This illustrates that Dinklages zombies are more complicated than we think. They seem to have a little brain, and battling them requires an extra effort. Dinklages survival in the film is illustrated by the way he responds to his limitations with humor, wit and in a cunny way when he is playing Tyrion. His strengths are limited to his power to speak, and react to situations because he knows that without the skills of a sword, you cannot survive a deeply violent, world run by military rules; hence he beats people by being as entertaining as he can possible.
The element of survival in both articles take a more distinct characteristic. To Klosterman, it about facing the daily activities that are more repetitive, hence to him they are more of routines. To him, humans face battles every day, but they seem to be similar requiring the same techniques of battling them. To Dinklage, battles are different in the film industry. One is never certain of what tomorrow comes with, and survival to him implies being flexible and all rounded. Battles in his world take a different twist every day and to survive; he has to find strategies for dealing with what comes.
The real world according to Klosterman is just like the zombie concept Klosterman compares vampire and zombie films, and he says that vampires may possess a character that may be liked temporarily, unlike the undying whose love is communal. When one is interested in what zombies signify it implies that they understand what they have to do to stop them. Once you understand it, you learn to cope with it because it simply never ends. The world is best at replicating situations, and the earlier someone can deal with them, the easier for them to survive. It is all about never stopping doing things, and returning to identify what is important and deleting what is not. Zombies are constantly surrounding us, but we have to take the battle of stopping them every day and never stopping.
Dinklage, just like Klosterman puts, has to also keep on dealing with his limitations in film and real life on a daily basis, and he does not stop because to him, his height is a constant reminder of it. He does not, however, interest in those that make his height an issue, and to survive in the film industry, he has had to find roles that upend the stereotypes that are given to actors bearing his height. Just like Klosterman, he says that he keeps on fighting because one has to make a living at the end of the day and no one is never happy with their jobs every day. To Dinklage, sometimes saying no is important in the film industry. This implies that he has to select the zombies he can deal with. His definition of breakthrough is playing the guy on the sidelines in the films. That way he survives better that when given the lead role, which comes with a lot of pressure.
Both articles highlight the fact that, it is critical to know the battles one if fighting, hence increasing the chance of survival. People face different battle, but how one understands them, helps them handle better and with ease. Experience is a characteristic that is brought out in these two concepts. Being able to deal with issues with much ease depends on experience and how well one is prepared for it.
This paper has applied Chuck Klostermans My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead and NPRs article on Peter Dinklage: On Thrones and on His Own Terms to identify how each of them view their world, the struggles they go through and how they survive in each of them. From the review of these articles, we understand that the concept of life becomes more challenging as one continue living it as Klosterman relates it to zombie life. Dinklage on the hand identifies that one can overcome weakness by building on a ones strength. Humans must be able to battle the experience they face every day just like zombies, and that battles may not always come in the same form for other people. Also, it is crucial to identify ways of coping with situations in life to help one survive better as Klosterman and Dinklage put it.
NPR. "Peter Dinklage: On 'Thrones,' And On His Own Terms." NPR.org. N.p., 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2017.
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