'The Walking Dead': What Does it Mean to Be a 'Good' Person?
'The Walking Dead': What Does it Mean to Be a 'Good' Person?
Gina Vaynshteyn
Gina Vaynshteyn
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead highlighted two instinctual responses we have to strangers. As humans, we choose to either trust those we don't know, or we resort to skepticism. In the world of The Walking Dead, we have learned that the living pose a greater threat than the non-living. However, the characters often have no choice but to have faith in others, and sometimes their lives depend on this faith. That brings me to my question: does "good" still exist in the post-apocalypse and what does it look like?

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In "Claimed" we are given more information about Tara, The Governor's naive and gullible former sidekick's sister. She has learned from her mistakes and is now weary of other travelers, a skill she couldn't learn until now (she bunkered in an apartment with her sister, niece, and father, secluded from the zombies and sheltered from other people). Considering herself a burden to Glenn, Tara realizes how much pain she has caused him and his camp because she chose to believe a man who claimed he was a good guy.

Now, she and Glenn seem to have reluctantly partnered up with Sergeant Abraham Ford, Rosita, and Dr. Eugene. This trio's goal is not only to survive, but to save the world. Naturally, Tara distrusts these intentions, and wonders why Abraham would want to take Eugene (who knows the cure) to D.C. and what kind of motivation he has to act for the entire world.  

Abraham, who witnesses Tara's loyalty to Glenn, states, "You're loyal, you're a good person. I like it. But what we're doin', I don't know how to say it...Saving the world is just more important. 

Tara responds, "You think just because I'm following Glenn makes me a good person? I'm not. You don't know anything about me. Just like I don't know why you're going to Washington. I get why Eugene is going -he's the only one who knows how to end this. And Rosita, she loves you, she'll follow you anywhere. But why the hell you agreed to drive him across the country?"

Abraham poses the rhetorical question: "Is it hard to believe I want to save the world?"

Tara darkly ends the conversation by saying, "Because you're a good person? You don't have to tell me why. Just don't lie to me."


Naturally, after watching someone you trusted and deemed "good" sheer a man's neck off, you would question every person with grandiose plans to better society. The Governor, who we can directly contrast with Sergeant Abraham, was an example of an antagonist, a villain who took advantage of characters who were willing to have blind faith others. Tara has every right to question Abraham's motives and wonder why a man would risk his own life to save people. This kind of altruism is hard to believe when so many others have put themselves first in The Walking Dead. 

Another example of a character judging "good" from "bad" in "Claimed" is when Rick immediately hides from the men who barge into the house he, Carl, and Michonne were staying in. Although Rick isn't able to see the men's faces, let alone their intentions, he understands that they will kill him if he makes himself known (he is also given a hint when one of the men strangles the other for a bigger bed). 

With Hershel (the show's symbol for faith and humanity) gone, it is up the remaining characters of The Walking Dead to decipher who is "bad" and who is "good." Their sense of morality has certainly been tainted after the prison massacre. Much of Season 4 has been about the characters: who they were, and how they are currently dealing with their deteriorating environment. The show will most likely continue with their internal struggles with trust and faith, as well as their external struggles with violence and survival.

Catch an all new Walking Dead episode this Sunday at 9 pm.

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(Image courtesy of AMC)



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