World War Z

World War Z


Max Brooks

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Miller was a suburbanite who was preoccupied with day-to-day worries and didn’t pay much attention to the zombie crisis on the news until the night when zombies burst into her house and attacked her family. She represents the typical, privileged American who focuses on her little problems—like her investment portfolio and the crack in the pool—and ignores the larger, important issues until they directly affect her life. She says she’d known her husband, Tim Miller, was having an affair, but when the zombies attacked, the “lies fell away” and he stepped in to protect his family. After the zombie war, Miller designs zombie-proof homes, suggesting that she, too, has been shaken out of her petty concerns and has found a valuable purpose in life. In her second interview, she takes full responsibility for the zombie crisis getting out of hand in America. She tells the narrator that people like her caused the crisis, because in a democracy, a government can and must be held accountable by its people. Self-involved citizens like her didn’t take the steps they should have to get the government to react to the crisis in the proper way.

Mary Jo Miller Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by Mary Jo Miller or refer to Mary Jo Miller. 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.
Chapter 2: Blame Quotes

Oh yeah, I was worried, I was worried about my car payments and Tim’s business loan. I was worried about that widening crack in the pool and the new nonchlorinated filter that still left an algae film. I was worried about our portfolio, even though my e-broker assured me this was just first-time investor jitters and that it was much more profitable than a standard 401(k). […] These were just some of my worries. I had more than enough to keep me busy.

Did you watch the news?

Yeah, for about five minutes every day: local headlines, sports, celebrity gossip. Why would I want to get depressed by watching TV? I could do that just by stepping on the scale every morning.

Related Characters: Mary Jo Miller (speaker)
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mary Jo Miller Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character Mary Jo Miller appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Blame
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
...staircases, and have other safety features like thick steel gates. Troy’s developer and mayor is Mary Jo Miller , who tells the narrator that before the zombies, she was worried about things like... (full context)
Chapter 8: Good-Byes
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Troy, Montana, USA. Mrs. Miller says that she is the American system, and therefore she is to blame. She says... (full context)