cultural arc


I come across a phrase "creating a cultural arc“,but I don't quite understand. Does it mean to create a cultural peak?
Thank you in advance!
  • jillyqi

    Below is the whole sentence:
    On-screen zombies have always reflected their era, creating a cultural arc and a ‘mirror image of what’s happening in society at that moment’, according to Sara Sutler-Cohen, a sociologist at San Francisco State University who studies the motif.
    Thank you!


    Senior Member
    Thank you, Jilly.

    It seems to mean that the idea of zombies becomes significant to a large portion of the people in some culture. I suppose the idea of a "cultural arc" means that zombies evoke different reactions from different members of that culture.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    A "narrative arc" has been defined thus:

    "Sometime simply called "arc" or "story arc," narrative arc refers to the chronological construction of plot in a novel or story. Typically, a narrative arc looks something like a pyramid, made up of the following components: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution."

    So the narrative arc can be traced on a graph. I think that in a similar way by using "cultural arc" Sarah Sutler-Cohen wants to show that the zombie has undergone a gradual "evolution" from "unspeaking, single-minded creatures craving human flesh" to"Zombies who want to grow and be good". The article can be found in Aeon Magazine:
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