If you were a zombie - would you know that you are a zombie?
In the 1982 movie 'The Thing' did those infected realize they were infected? Only after the blood jumping out of the petri dish is when Palmer went into morphing into the thing. In the very last scene, Childs isn't breathing. MacCready is. Watch their mouths, watch the steam. Childs doesn't have any. Also the J&B bottle was filled with gasoline and didn't notice? Are zombies a metaphor for the Dunning-Kruger effect when folks are completely unaware that they are misinformed?
There's so many variations of zombies or zombie-like creatures that I don't think you can paint them all with the same brush. In the case of The Thing, my understanding was that they were assimilated into a different consciousness and the person they were was essentially dead. So in that case, I think they were perfectly aware they had been infected because they were the infection.
For most types of zombies, there doesn't seem to be the mental awareness to say "I'm a zombie", the upper brain functions are gone.
For the ones that are awake and aware, like some infections that seem to make them want to eat people too, you'd know you were a zombie from lack of biological functions or changes in them. If you don't have the capacity to recognize the changes, you can't understand what they mean - zombie.
Thanks for the answers. Watched The Thing again today, and realized that not only is Childs breath can be seen but the Thing's breathing can be easily seen earlier in the movie when "Garry" runs outside still transforming and 'screams' while kneeling in the snow. Also theJB was probably just JB because MacGready was about to take a sip of it when Childs walks up in the end.
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