World War Z

World War Z

by

Max Brooks

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Breckinridge “Breck” Scott Character Analysis

Scott developed a fake vaccine called Phalanx during the zombie outbreak and falsely marketed it as a cure for the zombie virus. He understood that the American people were terrified of this disease and exploited their fear to make millions. He was aided by the shortsighted administration of the time, which was desperate for a way to calm people down and grabbed at Scott’s solution. Scott was also helped along by a web of corruption that included doctors who earned money from prescribing the vaccine and the inefficient FDA. The narrator is clearly upset with Scott when he interviews him, but Scott refuses to take any blame for his actions, saying that he “technically” didn’t lie since he was selling an anti-rabies vaccine and the disease was called “African rabies.” He defends his actions and says that the gullible public should have researched the vaccine rather than buying into its claims so naively. In his interview, Scott comes across as a despicable person who has no conscience. Out of pure greed, he put the lives of many Americans in danger and has no qualms about it.

Breckinridge “Breck” Scott Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by Breckinridge “Breck” Scott or refer to Breckinridge “Breck” Scott. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Three Rivers edition of World War Z published in 2006.
Introduction Quotes

The official report was a collection of cold, hard data, an objective “after-action report” that would allow future generations to study the events of that apocalyptic decade without being influenced by “the human factor.” But isn't the human factor what connects us so deeply to our past? Will future generations care as much for chronologies and casualty statistics as they would for the personal accounts of individuals not so different from themselves? By excluding the human factor, aren't we risking the kind of personal detachment from a history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as “the living dead”?

Related Symbols: Zombies
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2: Blame Quotes

The only rule that ever made sense to me I learned from a history, not an economics, professor at Wharton. “Fear,” he used to say, “fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe.” That blew me away. “Turn on the TV,” he’d say. “What are you seeing? People selling their products? No. People selling the fear of you having to live without their products.” Fuckin’ A, was he right. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure. Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells. That was my mantra. “Fear sells.”

Related Characters: Breckinridge “Breck” Scott (speaker)
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:
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Breckinridge “Breck” Scott Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character Breckinridge “Breck” Scott appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Blame
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Vostok Station: Antarctica. Breckenridge “Breck” Scott has leased this remote outpost from the Russian government. It takes a month to reach... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
Scott tells the narrator that the only valid rule about economics is that “fear is the... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
The narrator wonders how Scott made it past the FDA, and Scott says the FDA used to be a joke.... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
The narrator asks Scott if he knew that the vaccine wouldn’t work, and Scott says he knew it would... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The narrator says that if someone discovered that it wasn’t rabies, Scott would have gotten in trouble. But Scott says the doctors, the FDA, and the Congress... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
The narrator asks Scott if he takes no responsibility for what transpired, and Scott insists on his innocence. He... (full context)
Chapter 8: Good-Byes
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
...and who looted it. This includes small-time thieves as well as “big fish” like Breckenridge Scott who will be brought home soon to face the IRS (and everyone else who can’t... (full context)