The Love and the Hate

The Love and the Hate is a Passion story. That is to say, it is based on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Thus it is also a zombie tale.

As Jesus, the only begotten son of God was murdered to free mankind of sin, so the soldier Hoult Gore, an only child, went to war against the Japanese to give his life for the freedom of mankind. In each case, the reasoning seems vacuous: there is really no reason at all. It’s merely murder. Just as with Christ, Gore gave his life willingly but was also led to slaughter by his father. Just like Christ, Gore suffers a gash in his body, dies, and returns from the dead, but for Gore, love is just the flip side of hate, so he thus sums up his mission (CP 3:241):

“… I am the only dead body that has had the energy to get up again
Since Jesus Christ. His whip was love, they say. Mine … fury.”

Jeffers also includes a “last supper” in the story, complete with an empty chair (a reference to Judas).

Jeffers does use Hoult Gore as a mouthpiece for his anti-interventionist politics, but here the politics are voiced by a mad zombie. Because the reader is not expected to adopt the homicidal zombie’s politics, we don’t feel preached at.

Jeffers bookends the tale, characteristically, with fire. This is appropriate because this is a cathartic horror story—not a morality tale. It is a very earnest story about real life, but it proposes no answer, no solution.

It is likely that Jeffers intended this story’s companion piece, the Inhumanist, to provide the answer, for that second narrative is full of answers, but it is another story with other characters and an entirely different narrative arc.