I allowed a student to write a zombie story this semester. It a sophomoric topic, I know, but I get a lot of sophmores in my creative writing classes, and I need to be more open about other genres of fiction. He was, he said, going to try to make it more than a yarn and have a significant theme by writing about regimentation and technology.
That's been done a fair amount, I said, but maybe from a zombie perspective you will achieve a fresh view on an old topic.
Well, he completely forgot about his theme, and spent 15 pages in zombie action--arms, heads, and legs falling off, zombies biting humans, humans biting zombies, etc.
The humans were retaking the world, in his story, and the zombies were sad. (That was a cool part) The zombies were used to being in control. I told him that his narrator, writing in a journal, could be a bit philosophical, and point out that the zombies were the next stage in evolution. They don't consume much. If the humans take over the world again, global warming will resume as they quickly reproduce and reestablish consumer culture.
My student said, "Isn't that theme a bit trite."
I said, "No." It's got some irony in it. The dead save the world.
My suspicion is that the student called the theme I suggested trite because he, like many Aggies, does not believe in global warming. We live in a special bubble here.
What do you think, readers? Trite or not trite?