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Was anyone offended by the "Southern cannibal family" in episode 2?

posted by Robert Morgan on - last edited - Viewed by 1.4K users

I'd like to pose this question to players from Texas, or any of the red states for that matter. Were you annoyed by the cannibal family seen in episode 2 with the St. Johns?

Most of us guessed something was going on with the St. Johns even before we got to the dairy, but I was secretly hoping it wouldn't turn out to be cannibalism. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was one of the first movies to really perpetuate this stereotype, and although it's considered to be a horror classic (for good reason), the idea of people from the South inevitably turning out to be flesh-eating psychos has apparently persisted in the public subconscious.

Telltale tried to mitigate this somewhat by painting the St. Johns as a genuinely educated family (proven by the high school diplomas and college degrees Lee sees framed in the hallway), suggesting these people weren't inclined to cannibalism before the zombie outbreak, but were driven to desperate measures by desperate circumstances. Nonetheless, the cliche is still there.

(I should add that "having an education" is no guarantee someone isn't a psychopath/sociopath. One reason Jack the Ripper slipped away was very possibly due to the pompous Victorian attitude that an "educated man" would never be capable of committing such atrocities.)

44 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Well, resorting to cannibalism is, as you mentioned, a sign of desperation. The zombie apocalypse is supposed to give of that kind of air. Having a cannibal family was a good way to show just how messed up people get in these kinds of situations. Since the game takes place in Georgia, they kinda had no choice but to make them southern. That, and it plays off the players notion of southern hospitality (albeit not very well since it was pretty obvious something unsettling was going on).

    To answer your question, no, I'm not offended by the cliche. Though, to be honest, I'm from Ohio, so I'd be a northerner, so I don't have this kind of thing thrown at me. I have no idea what it's like for people to assume that I would be a cannibal.

  • I live in Arkansas, and I was offended by how obvious the cliche was. Nothing more.

  • If someone was actually offended by it I'll be extremely disappointed by said individual.

  • @anonymau5 said: I live in Arkansas, and I was offended by how obvious the cliche was. Nothing more.

    If the St. Johns absolutely had to be up to no good for the sake of the plot, couldn't Telltale have at least come up with something besides cannibalism for a change?

  • @Robert Morgan said: If the St. Johns absolutely had to be up to no good for the sake of the plot, couldn't Telltale have at least come up with something besides cannibalism for a change?

    Cannibalism is in most cases a realistic scenario that would possibly occur with alarming frequency in a zombie apocalypse. There is no law and you're starving. You won't be punished(naturally anyway), so it is quite a temptation. With that, it would probably be something many survivors must face, and is sort of second nature in a zombie apocalypse. Alongside bandits.

    It is very easy to do such evil deeds, and many will always take the easy way out. With no punishment, they reap the rewards and that only encourages it further. I'd be more surprised were it not included than anything.

  • What Mornai said. Cannibalism has kinda become a trope in ZA stories, and it makes sense especially in TWD universe, which is more about how messed up people can get anyway in the absence of order than about the walkers.

    In a way, I feel some slight sympathy for the St. John brothers, because if you chat with them enough you learn they initially returned to the farm from elsewhere in the state to look after their mom. It sounds like one of those situations where good people became so desperate that they go bad.

    Anyway, I guess you can see the St. John's as some type of cliche of crazy Southerners, but we also meet good Southerners in the game.

  • @double_u said: Anyway, I guess you can see the St. John's as some type of cliche of crazy Southerners, but we also meet good Southerners in the game.

    Technically, isn't everyone but Omid and Christa southerners? Almost the entire main cast is from Georgia, usually Macon or Atlanta. The most stereotypical southern character would be Kenny, and he's from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

    As for the St. Johns, I can say with confidence that having lived my entire life in the rural south-eastern United States that there is no cannibal problem...

    And by no problem, I mean there is a small problem, but we've got it under control...mostly. :p

  • It's best to never get offended by Characters in games just because it fits some stereotype
    As long as it works towards a good story and isn't something which is real stereotype I'm fine

    They can feel free to have some crazy Cannabalistic Brits in the next season and I'd be happy with it

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