A Deeper Look: The Last of Us – Loss and Second Chances

By Andrew Wheeler ~ Assistant Opinion Editor

The Last Of Us HD Wallpaper | Background Image | 1920x1080
(Promotional box art for The Last of Us, by NaughtyDog/Sony)

People may all be very distinct from one another, but one fear I would be pressed to believe we don’t all share is the thought of losing someone we love. 

While some may write off The Last of Us as simply another zombie apocalypse-type story, the reality is really more focused on a theme of learning to cope with death and push forward. We watch protagonist Joel lose his beloved daughter mere minutes into the experience, and from then on, we continue to get hit with the pressures of this apocalyptic world. The setting may seem fantastical, but the themes at the heart of the narrative are very real. 

We spend the remainder of the game journeying with a new little girl, Ellie, and watch her and Joel bond naturally over time. 

While they have to confront the fact that she is not his daughter and can never replace her, they do develop a special bond all their own by the end. Through Ellie, Joel revitalizes a hole in himself he never thought could be filled again.

Through this world-ending narrative, we watch a man recover a lost part of himself, and this can teach just about anyone a lesson in the way life can hand us new opportunities if we continue to hang on and take the chances we get. Even simply watching the game rather than playing it, one can feel a massive connection to these very human characters dealing with very human struggles. We could all learn something from an experience like this. Despite the numerous zombies running through the world, the survivors are more human than anyone.

The Last of Us is currently available to play on PS3 and PS4. A TV series for HBO Max is currently being filmed as well.

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