Class Division in The Walking Dead
It’s fair to state that some folks take the zombie apocalypse seriously in real life and want to be as prepared as possible, but within the actual show it feels that there are entirely too many people that don’t take the walkers seriously enough. This could be due to the idea that they don’t have a lot of experience in dealing with them, which is tough to believe, or they’re kept and protected by people that have slain more walkers, and possibly other human beings than many could imagine. The fact that it’s possible to see the haves and have-nots still represented in this world isn’t too surprising it’s downright irritating. But that’s a part of what makes obvious class divisions in TWD season 11 all the better since the Commonwealth makes it clear that those with the skills and qualities that they want can go far and be treated with a great deal of respect and decency, while those that aren’t considered as important are treated like second-class citizens, and even treated as less than everyone else. One would think that a zombie apocalypse would feature survivors in a different light, but sadly, this feels more realistic.
One of the major sticking points is Sebastian Milton, the son of the Commonwealth’s mayor and perhaps one of the most irritating characters in the show at this point since if entitlement had a face, his would be the first to stand out as a stark example. He’s hardly the only one that takes full advantage of his position in the Commonwealth since the class divide is beyond obvious, but it’s also just as easy to see that individuals such as Mercer, who serves the upper class, aren’t quite as comfortable as many others when it comes to the festivities and restrictive functions that are held for the privileged members of the community.
The fact that the latest episode shows Sebastian and his mother out hunting walkers is kind of disturbing since Daryl, Rosita, and many others have to earn their way into the Commonwealth, while others are allowed to enter based on what they can offer and their skill set that might not be relevant after so many years. But it would appear that the Commonwealth is adamant about bringing back the old ways and separating people by their skills, their use to the community as a whole, and are also intent on doling out privilege in the same manner that was practiced before the world fell. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, should it? Throughout history, those that have been able to grab power, influence, and the hearts and minds of the people have been the most influential, and have often found that a little just isn’t enough. The long and short of it is that even after the world falls, one can assume that someone is going to rise from the ashes and do whatever it takes to create another system that will become just as flawed as the one that it ends up replacing. This isn’t the first time this has been seen to be honest, since TWD has managed to show this kind of development more than once since it was started.
What it shows, in a big way, is that no matter how the world ends, there are still plenty of people who will seek to be the most important person in the room. It’s important to note that some folks might not seek this level of attention or importance, as they genuinely want to help others and make life better for everyone as much as they can. But when realism brings to mind the fact that people are not equal and that some folks have far more ambition than others, the ascent to positions of power becomes more pronounced, and those that don’t want to let go of that power, that want to be in the more influential positions that afford more privilege, tend to become negative in one manner or another. The fact that the latest episode saw a disgruntled, former soldier take the advisor to the mayor hostage to be heard is a clear sign that all is not well within the Commonwealth. Not only is classism not being appreciated by those that have less, but it’s more than apparent that there’s a rebellion building.
This makes it easy to imagine that even when the world ends, humanity will go back to creating the same divisions that have existed since recorded history, and the haves and have-nots will continue to be the two biggest divisions that exist. It’s bound to irritate a lot of people since even though this is fiction and getting angry at the characters is horribly easy, the fact is that many throughout society feel that this is the way things would continue to go since human nature is to destroy as much as it is to nurture and to divide as much as it is to unite. Sometimes fiction and real-life have a lot more in common than people realize.