You are on page 1of 2

NAME

DATE
KALPANA

The Walking Dead


"The eyes were the worst. It was not my imagination. They were in truth like the eyes of a dead man,
not blind, but staring, unfocused, unseeing. The whole face, for that matter, was bad enough. It was
vacant, as if there was nothing behind it. It seemed not only expressionless, but incapable of
expression. I had seen so much previously in Haiti that was outside the ordinary normal experience
that for the flash of a second I had a sickening, almost panicky lapse in which I thought, or rather felt,
"Great God, maybe this stuff really is true...".
This is how William Seabrook described his encounter with one of the most horrifying creatures ever to
step from the realms of the supernatural. For Seabrook was face-to-face with a zombie - a walking
corpse. And in that moment he was prepared to believe all that he had heard about zombies since he
first arrived on the island of Haiti.
The zombie's fate is even worse than that of a vampire or werewolf. The vampire returns to his loved
ones. He may be recognised and laid to rest. The werewolf may be wounded and regain human form.
But the zombie is a mindless automaton (robot), doomed to live out a twilight existence of brutish toil
(animal-like labour). A zombie can eat, move, hear, even speak, but he has no memory of his past or
knowledge of his present condition. He may pass by his own home or gaze into the eyes of his loved
ones without a glimmer of recognition.
Neither ghost nor person, the zombie is said to be trapped, possibly forever, in that "misty zone that
divides life from death". For while the vampire is the living dead, the zombie is merely the walking
dead - a body without soul or mind raised from the grave and given a semblance (appearance) of life
through sorcery. He is the creature of the sorcerer, who uses him as a slave or hires him out - usually
to walk on the land.
From 'The Book of Great Mysteries' edited by Colin Wilson and Christopher Evans.

1. The writer chooses to begin the extract with a story based on someone's
actual experience. Why do you think he did this?
2. What is the effect of the two short sentences which open the extract?
3. In the third sentence, why does the speaker use a list of three adjectives to
describe the zombie's eyes?
4. Why did Seabrook believe for a moment that he had met a real zombie?
5. Which words tell you he did not really believe this?
6. In the second paragraph, how does the writer use language to convince us
that the zombie is a terrifying creature?
7. Which other creatures are compared to the zombie in the third paragraph?
8. Give two reasons why the zombie's fate is described as "even worse".
9. What is the purpose of this text?

Q1. The writer chooses to begin the extract with a story based on someone's actual
experience. Why do you think he did this?
He did this to make the whole text sound more believable, and to add lively detail to the
factual section which follows it.
Q2. What is the effect of the two short sentences which open the extract?
They create drama and tension.
Q3. In the third sentence, why does the speaker use a list of three adjectives to describe the
zombie's eyes?
They help the reader to build up a picture of the zombie, making the writing more dramatic.
Q4. Why did Seabrook believe for a moment that he had met a real zombie?
He had seen 'so much previously in Haiti that was outside normal experience' that he thought
it might be a real zombie.
Q5. Which words tell you he did not really believe this?
The words which tell us he didn't really believe this are: 'for a flash of a second', 'panicky
lapse' and 'maybe'.
Q6. In the second paragraph, how does the writer use language to convince us that the
zombie is a terrifying creature?
The writer uses the phrase 'one of the most horrifying creatures ever to step from the realms
of the supernatural'. You might also have picked out the phrase 'walking corpse'.
Q7. Which other creatures are compared to the zombie in the third paragraph?
Zombies are compared to vampires and werewolves.
Q8. Give two reasons why the zombie's fate is described as "even worse".
The zombie's fate is worse because it can't think, it can't return to human form, it is doomed
to slave labour and it has no memory of its home or loved ones.
Q9. What is the purpose of this text?
The text has two purposes: firstly, to inform us about zombies, and secondly, to entertain.