World War Z

World War Z

by

Max Brooks

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Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania Character Analysis

Paul Redeker is the famous South African who came up with the Redeker Plan to help in the fight against the zombies. He had first attracted the attention of the South African government in the apartheid years because he had come up with a plan to deal with that crisis, as well. When the outbreak takes place, the father of the nation (perhaps Nelson Mandela, though he isn’t named) sends for Redeker to help the government. Sure enough, Redeker has a plan ready for dealing with the zombies and saving people, but it is so startlingly cruel that the government officials balk at adopting it. Redeker states that it is impossible to save all people, so the government must retire behind a safe zone along with some of the populace who can help with reconstruction efforts. Other people must be left outside the safe zone since their resources would not be able to provide for so many. He says that these people can be used as bait to lure the zombies away from the safe zones. However, the father of the nation stands up for Redeker’s ideas and sees it as a solution to the crisis. He even gives Redeker a warm hug. Redeker has always prided himself on being a completely rational person who derides emotions, but that hug seems to call up his repressed emotions and triggers a breakdown. After this, he goes by the name of Xolelwa Azania and does not realize that he is Redeker. His story seems to be proof that all human beings have emotions, whether they acknowledge them or not. Either because Redeker suddenly recognizes his own or because he knows that his plan will cause the death of many, he cannot bear to be himself and takes on a new identity.

Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania or refer to Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania. 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 4: Turning the Tide Quotes

I know that the majority of psychobiographers continue to paint this man without a soul. That is the generally accepted notion. Paul Redeker: no feelings, no compassion, no heart. However, one of our most revered authors […] postulates that Redeker was actually a deeply sensitive man, too sensitive, in fact, for life in apartheid South Africa. He insists that Redeker’s lifelong jihad against emotion was the only way to protect his sanity from the hatred and brutality he witnessed on a daily basis. […] Those who knew him from work were hard-pressed to remember witnessing any social interaction or even any physical act of warmth. The embrace by our nation’s father, this genuine emotion piercing his impenetrable shell…

[…] I can tell you that that was the last day anyone ever saw Paul Redeker. Even now, no one knows what really happened to him.

Related Characters: Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania (speaker)
Page Number: 110-111
Explanation and Analysis:
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Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character Paul Redeker / Xolelwa Azania appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Turning the Tide
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Robben Island, Cape Town Province, United States of Southern Africa. The narrator meets Xolelwa Azania at his writing desk where he is working on his book Rainbow Fist: South Africa... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
During the Great Panic, agents of the National Intelligence Agency found Redeker and asked him for his help to solve the crisis. He already had a plan... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
When Redeker read his report to the president’s cabinet, it was greeted with outrage. One person, however,... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Azania says he stepped in after Redeker disappeared and helped to implement the plan. He says... (full context)