Joseph Campbell's The Power Of Myth

Superior Essays
In his lectures, “The Power of Myth,” Joseph Campbell states that two of the major functions of myth are the sociological and pedagogical. Myth can uphold social orders, and myth can teach people how to live in any circumstances. These two functions are not necessarily separate; in fact, they can intertwine in such a way that the myth itself can uphold a social order by teaching people how to live with that social order, as Walter Lippmann would say, manufacturing consent for that order just by suggesting that people must learn to live with it. In the case of Zombie and Vampire mythology in modern media, this dual function becomes apparent wherein teaching how to manage the onslaught of repetition in modern life with the Zombie myth and how …show more content…
His explanation is the very definition of Campbell's pedagogical function of myth, as Klosterman continues, "a lot of modern life is exactly like slaughtering zombies," (Klosterman, 6). Klosterman argues that Zombies are so popular because they represent “our collective fear projection: that we will be consumed,” (Klosterman, 13), consumed by the constant stream of information and tedious tasks of modern life. Killing zombies just teaches us that we are capable of fighting off that consumption. He quotes Max Brook’s “The Zombie Survival Guide” and its description of the Zombie brain as a parallel between how it functions and how we function in our daily lives. What Klosterman fails to mention is how Max Brooks specifically describes the zombie brain. It isn’t just that these zombies are mindlessly repeating the same function until they are killed, it is that they are “programmed” (Klosterman, 12) to do so. Brooks’ comparison to a computer is not just a comment on the fact that this technology driven and reliant society consumes us. It is that, like a computer, it is manufactured to be that way. Zombies have no conscious choice because something – a virus, parasite, genetically modified food, or a vaccine – took that choice from them. Ironically, in his essay, Klosterman becomes just like the zombies he compares modern life to because he recognizes that “this is the zombies’ world, and we just live in it. But we can live better,” (Klosterman, 19) and yet not once questions why being able to “live better” is reliant on us slaying the zombies of modern life instead of finding a cure to rid ourselves of them. He questions only the aftermath, but not the source. Klosterman also constantly likens the fight against the zombies of modern life to a “war,” but if we are fighting a

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