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World War Z by Max Brooks Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'World War Z' is a science fiction novel by Max Brooks about a dystopian society after a zombie apocalypse. This asset provides discussion questions about this novel.

World War Z

As students read World War Z by Max Brooks, they can easily draw parallels between the novel's Zombie War and the consequences of war and violence that are faced by civilians around the world, such as corrupt and inept governments and refugee crises. The following questions complement a novel study of World War Z.

Chapters 1-3

The questions in this section describe the zombie outbreak and initial mistakes when attempting to deal with this global problem.

  • Describe the narration style of this novel. According to the narrator, what is the motivation for writing this story? Why do you think the narrator finds the humanity aspect of this story so compelling?
  • How did the outbreak begin? What was the government response? If patients exhibited similar symptoms in real life, what do you think the American response would be? Why?
  • Why are government efforts to contain the disease unsuccessful? What part does greed and corruption play in real-world health issues? Provide specific examples to support your ideas.
  • Why do you think the author chooses to tell pieces of the story from so many different locations? What effect does this writing strategy have on the reader?
  • What are some solutions proposed for dealing with the zombie problem? Critique these solutions and develop your own ideas for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe during a zombie apocalypse.

Chapters 4-6

This section explains the results of fear and panic on society, as well as the economic, political, and social impacts of this catastrophic event.

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