World War Z

World War Z

by

Max Brooks

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on World War Z can help.
A famous filmmaker before the outbreak, Elliot makes movies during the war that aim to make American citizens feel hopeful again. He primarily intends to combat a psychological syndrome called ADS (Apocalyptic Despair Syndrome or Asymptomatic Demise Syndrome) that affected a large number of people during the war. Victims of this syndrome experienced such extreme hopelessness that they died in their sleep even though they weren’t physically ill. Elliot tells the narrator that he knew how they felt because he felt hopeless, too—he’d gone from being a hotshot director before the war to an unskilled laborer inside the safe zone. Elliot ends up making a huge difference in the lives of many Americans with his movies that show people fighting back and winning against the zombies, and also showcase the army’s slew of impressive weapons. These movies give hope to many, and the number of ADS cases drop. Elliot’s interview shows the importance of art and storytelling even in a time of crisis. He empathized with people and was therefore able to tap into their emotions and improve their lives. The presence of ADS during the war also highlights the importance of people’s emotions to their well-being and health.

Roy Elliot Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by Roy Elliot or refer to Roy Elliot. 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 5: Home Front USA Quotes

Yes, they were lies and sometimes that’s not a bad thing. Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they’re used. The lies our government told us before the war, the ones that were supposed to keep us happy and blind, those were the ones that burned, because they prevented us from doing what had to be done. However, by the time I made Avalon, everyone was already doing everything they could possibly do to survive. The lies of the past were long gone and now the truth was everywhere, shambling down their streets, crashing through their doors, clawing at their throats. […] The truth was that we were standing at what might be the twilight of our species and that truth was freezing a hundred people to death every night.

Related Characters: Roy Elliot (speaker)
Related Symbols: Zombies
Page Number: 166-167
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire World War Z LitChart as a printable PDF.
World War Z PDF

Roy Elliot Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character Roy Elliot appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Home Front USA
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Malibu, California. The narrator meets the famous director Roy Elliot for coffee in Malibu. Elliot tells him that he tried to combat ADS, which stood... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Elliot went to the government with a proposal to make movies to fight ADS, and he... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Elliot found his first story quickly. Just outside LA, 300 students from five colleges had turned... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Two weeks later, a psychiatrist visited Elliot and told him they’d seen an instant drop in ADS cases after the movie screening.... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
Soon, ADS was down by 23%, and the government finally became interested in what Elliot was doing. He then made Fire of the Gods, a movie about the military’s sophisticated... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
The narrator asks Elliot if that wasn’t a lie, and Elliot says it was. He says it was the... (full context)