The significance of the deer in « Get Out »

I feel like we’ve all seen or at least heard of « Get Out ». Well, if somehow you haven’t seen it, Get Out was a horror/thriller that was a massive hit back in 2017. To quickly summarize, this film was about a young Black man, Chris, who decides to visit his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend getaway. This seemingly innocent trip takes a turn for the worst as Chris finds out dark secrets about his Girlfriend’s family. But we’re not here to talk all day about the amazing plot of the movie, instead, we’re here to talk about a reoccurring symbol: The deer. In this blog, I’ll explain the significance of the deer and its different interpretations throughout the film. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Wilkinson, Alissa. “Get Out Is a Horror Film about Benevolent Racism. It’s Spine-Chilling.” Vox, 25 Feb. 2017, www.vox.com/culture/2017/2/24/14698632/get-out-review-jordan-peele.

The first time we see a deer is when Chris and Rose are on their way up to her parent’s house, where they hit a deer. Chris is very upset by the sight of the dead deer, as it brings to mind his mother, who died in a hit-and-run accident. For Chris, the deer symbolizes loss, helplessness, and his mother death. When they arrive at her parent’s house, Dean Armitage, Rose’s father, talks about deers saying that they are taking over everything and they need to be killed. He uses a very angry tone to describe his desire to get rid of the deer in the area. Later in the film, when Chris is strapped to a chair in the basement, he sees a stuffed deer’s head on the wall. It is at this point that the deer symbolizes vulnerability and one’s dominance over another. Chris, like the deer, has become the victim. The deer is a trophy for the Armitages, in the same way, that it becomes clear Chris is. For the Armitage family, deers are symbols of unwanted visitors to be hunted. There is a parallel between how Dean perceives deer and how he perceives black people. He feels entitled to hunt both of them, and then keep them as trophies of his dominance. 

“Get Out (2017).” The Feast in Visual Arts and Cinema, virtualfeast.net/cinematic-feasts/get-out-2017. Accessed 14 June 2021.

The way these 2 sides perceive deer reflects their character in this film. For Chris, the deer symbolizes victimhood and vulnerability. On the other hand, for Dean, they represent something to be hunted. That is the way they perceive deer, which translates into how they act towards each other. Dean sees deer and Chris as an unwanted being who is to be hunted, while Chris sees deer as vulnerability and helplessness, which is how he feels in this situation that he’s been put in.

To conclude, Get Out was a fantastic horror movie with multiple examples of symbolism, the most evident one being the reoccurring deer. This symbol represents different things to different characters but still attaches additional meaning to the deer, enriching the comprehension of the movie.

Source

Wikipedia contributors. “Get Out.” Wikipedia, 12 June 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Out.

5 réflexions au sujet de “The significance of the deer in « Get Out »”

  1. Hi William, I really liked your blog post. While I’ve never seen Get Out, I know that Jordan Peele loves to put as much symbolism into his movies as he can. One example is that Rose eats her Froot Loops seperately from her milk, which represents her beliefs that white people should be segregated from P.O.C..

    I don’t remember hearing about the deer before your post, but based on the scenes you used to support your argument, I agree that it’s used to symbolize the different sides of racism: the victims and « hunters ».

  2. Hey William,

    I really enjoyed this blog as Get Out is definetly one of my favourite thriler movies. I never really thought much of the deer when i first watched it but you opened my eyes to what it could really represent. Is there any other symbolism you found in this movie?

  3. Hey William! I really enjoyed your blog as it was well written and very intriguing. I must admit that although I have seen « Get Out » on multiple occasions, I never took the time to reflect on the possible symbolism that was included in the movie. Now that you mention it though, I definitely see how the recurring deer would be symbolic. If I remember correctly, the deer that Chris hits at the beginning of the movie doesn’t die on impact. Before the deer dies, it stands on the edge of the forest staring at Chris, and half of its body is mutilated and the other half perfectly normal. Do you think that these specific details could symbolize anything as well?

  4. Hi William, cool blog. The deer seems like a small detail, yet you managed to find so much relevant symbolism hidden within its use. The implications you bring forth, such as the underlying themes of « the hunter and the hunted », bring a new dimension to the story.

  5. Hi William, thanks for this blog. I watched this movie a few years ago and never really thought much about any of the symbolism in this movie. In the movie, black people have their minds switched out with older white people that buy the body for their own use, so they can live again in a young and fit body. It’s as if the black people are only good for their bodies and have no other use then serve as a vessel for « superior » white people. So it’s similar to when hunters go for the best dear to put on their walls. Just something nice to look at.

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