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Small Screen, Big FeelsTelevision and Cultural Anxiety in the Twenty-First Century$
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Melissa Ames

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813180069

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813180069.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Trauma of Post-Apocalyptic Motherhood

The Trauma of Post-Apocalyptic Motherhood

The Walking Dead’s Social Commentary on Contemporary Gender Roles

Chapter:
(p.102) 5 The Trauma of Post-Apocalyptic Motherhood
Source:
Small Screen, Big Feels
Author(s):

Melissa Ames

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813180069.003.0006

Shifting from a focus on fictional fathers to fictional mothers, Chapter Five, analyzes the ways in which AMC's hit show, The Walking Dead (2010-present), critiques contemporary gender roles. Through a study of one particular character, Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), this essay argues that the violent landscape of the zombie narrative might be an ideal space in which to interrogate conceptions of femininity more broadly, and maternity more specifically. This essay attends to the ways in which this character was punished within the narrative of the show for deviating from gender norms, but was embraced by fans on social media for those very same actions.

Keywords:   motherhood, zombies, The Walking Dead, gender, fandom, femininity, anxiety, sexism, horror, television

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