With Season 3 of The Walking Dead back up and rolling, we're beginning to Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_%28season_3%29see that the survivors not only have to focus on dealing with the walkers on a day to day basis, but are now confronted with a possible war with other humans. Although this last episode was a bit slow on the zombie action, I think it's great that the producers are delving into the psychological impacts of a post apocalyptic world. This is in fact the main reason I keep watching. Although I love a good zombie massacre as much as the next girl, there's only so much mindless slaughter you can take before you go....What's the point?
So what IS the point? How do these survivors keep on going in a world that seems to (literally) want to eat them alive? What exactly is their motivation to not off themselves and everyone around them? Although we do see characters coming (very close) to wanting to kill themselves (*cough Andrea *cough) none of them are able to go through with it in the end, even in the most dire and bleak of circumstances.
My first thought would be that there is not true motivation, just purely instinct. Perhaps some people are just born with a stronger will to live, and do whatever it takes just to survive. Meryl's cutting off his own hand is a great example of this. Although obviously not the most pleasant person, Meryl has exactly what it takes to survive.
But then there are those who seem to have a different motivation all together... love. Our fearless leader Rick shows this when he wakes up from a coma in a zombie infested world...and his biggest concern if for his family. Now that's a hellavualota selflessness for one man. He keeps himself alive in order to protect the one's he loves. He stays because he's needed. But what happens if everyone was taken from him...everyone he loves. Would he then choose to end it? Or would survival instinct kick in?
There are a couple of characters who ended up showing amazing resiliency in this matter, who have had the very epitome of a survival turn around. Andrea and Carol both started off as the typical weak, sensitive characters. You just don't expect them to last that long in any sort of dire situation. Then you see them both lose someone dear to them, and you think, well alriCredit: http://tvgirl.net/2012/11/devils-advocate-andrea-from-the-walking-dead/ght there goes their only reason for living on this Hell-hole of a planet, surely they're just going to give up right? WRONG. These amazing women have a complete turn around....eventually. OF COURSE they want to give up right away, but the thing is, their not alone in this. The other members of the group (namely Daryl for Carol and Dale for Andrea) help to pull them through in their own unique way. Until eventually, these women have their own survival instincts kick in again, and come back even more determined and bada** than before! These women may not have been born survivalists, but they certainly evolved into them and they didn't do it alone. So I would have to assume, for any character on the show, if they suddenly ended up completely separated and alone, very few would survive in the long run.
Perhaps this is the essence of survival, It is not just the weak needing the strong to lop of zombie heads. We humans group together to survive because we need each other, not only for separate and unique skill sets, but because we need the support that the group offers. We all will need someone to pick us up when we're down, to be our survival instinct until we can find our own again. Most important of all, to know that we're not alone in this big ol' zombie infested world.