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.

T. Sean Collins Character Analysis

Collins worked in private security before the war and was hired by a millionaire during the outbreak to guard him and his friends in his secure mansion. One night, other people who were terrified of the zombies tried to break into his house, believing they would be safe there. The millionaire asked Collins and the other security guards to kill these people, but Collins refused and walked out. His interview shows the callous nature of his wealthy boss, and, in general, wealthy people’s lack of empathy for those who have less. In his second interview, Collins reveals to the narrator that killing zombies gives him a big rush, and when he tried to stop doing it, he worried that he might end up killing people instead—just to feel that thrill. So, he ended up joining a private group of zombie hunters. He hopes he will be able to stop killing soon and retire peacefully. But if he is unable to do that, he says he will kill himself after killing the last zombie. Collins says his plight is one shared by many veterans who cannot bring themselves to relax after the constant stress of war, and it shows one of the psychological costs of war.

T. Sean Collins Quotes in World War Z

The World War Z quotes below are all either spoken by T. Sean Collins or refer to T. Sean Collins. 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 3: The Great Panic Quotes

So when I saw the searing, bright green signatures of several hundred runners, my throat tightened. Those weren’t living dead.

“There it is!” I heard them shout. “That’s the house on the news!” They were carrying ladders, guns, babies. A couple of them had these heavy satchels strapped to their backs. They were booking it for the front gate, big tough steel that was supposed to stop a thousand ghouls. The explosion tore them right off their hinges, sent them flipping into the house like giant ninja stars. “Fire!” the boss was screaming into the radio. “Knock ’em down! Kill ’em! Shootshootshoot!”

Related Characters: T. Sean Collins (speaker)
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6: Around the World, and Above Quotes

She…she wouldn’t leave, you see. She insisted, over the objections of Parliament, to remain at Windsor, as she put it, “for the duration.” I thought maybe it was misguided nobility, or maybe fear-based paralysis. I tried to make her see reason, begged her almost on my knees.

What did she say?

“The highest of distinctions is service to others.” […] Their task, their mandate, is to personify all that is great in our national spirit. They must forever be an example to the rest of us, the strongest, and bravest, and absolute best of us.

Page Number: 193-194
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire World War Z LitChart as a printable PDF.
World War Z PDF

T. Sean Collins Character Timeline in World War Z

The timeline below shows where the character T. Sean Collins appears in World War Z. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Great Panic
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies Federation. The narrator meets T. Sean Collins at a raucous bar. He tells the narrator that there is no name for what... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
Fear Theme Icon
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
...bodies moving towards the house. The lookout warned that the attackers were running, which made Collins nervous since zombies usually didn’t run. When he looked at them through the sight of... (full context)
Humanity vs. Monstrosity Theme Icon
The Fragility of Privilege and Modern Life Theme Icon
Collins says complete confusion ensued, and that it looked like “the end of the world” with... (full context)
Chapter 8: Good-Byes
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies Federation. The bar is closing down, but T. Sean Collins signals for another drink. He admits that he is addicted to murder, like some war... (full context)
The Cost of War Theme Icon
Collins has heard of other mercenaries who manage to quit killing and retire peacefully, and he... (full context)