The Combination of Horror and Satire to Show Racism

“Get out,” directed by Jordan Peele, is a thriller and horror film about a young African-American man (Chris) who visits his white girlfriend’s (Rose) family for the first time. The family is extremely welcoming and accommodating, which Chris reads as the family trying to accept their daughters interracial relationship. But as time progresses, Chris begins to notice odd things. For starters, the family has many African American people who work for them, but they seem off and don’t act like normal people. In addition, One of the older members of the family is married to a younger black man, who while Chris is speaking to him begins to scream “Get out.” These events put Chris on edge, in addition to the families repeated beliefs that black people are “athletically and genetically superior” to white people. Spoiler Alert! I feel that the end of the movie must be spoiled in order to understand the satire and meaning behind the movie. Chris’ suspicions are correct, the family has different plans for him than to just have him visit. The mother of the family hypnotizes him into a “sunken space,” where Chris is detached from his own reality, watching it like a movie. We discover that the family has been doing this to the other black people who are in the house, but in this state of hypnosis, they have been putting the conscious of their white relatives into the black people because they believe black people to be genetically superior. The African Americans whose body it actually is are forced to watch what their body does through the sunken reality they are hypnotized into. Certain things, like flashes, can cause them to regain control and consciousness for a while, which is how the one man tells Chris to “get out” when a picture is taken of him. This man knows what will happen to Chris if he stays.

The film specifically uses irony and hyperbole to demonstrate how racism in America, although many white people think is much better, is not actually changed that much from the past. Irony is used with the contrast with what the family is expected to be — a democratic family trying to accept Chris — to what they actually are — basically enslaving black people for their personal gain. This contrast is supposed to shock the audience, but also supposed to represent the racism in our society everyday that we don’t notice. Hyperbole is also used in the movie. Obviously it is not possible to take someone’s consciousness and put in someone else, there is not technology for that. The use of the “sunken consciousness” is not meant to be taken literally, but instead meant to show how white people are still shaping and trying to control the minds of black people. Although this is meant to be extreme, it is also meant to shed light on the blatant racism that still exists in the U.S.

The movie is definitely criticizing modern America. The combination of satire and horror serves to attack racism and white people’s mindset towards black people in America. The writing shows how even those white people thought to be normal often have racist mindsets. Although it is meant to exaggerate the situation in America, it’s purpose is to also show how extreme and dire the situation with racism in America is, and what could theoretically happen in the future. I think Peele wants to change society with this movie by truly showing the racism occuring in America.

One thought on “The Combination of Horror and Satire to Show Racism

  1. SYDNEY G

    I also did Get Out 🙂 but I love the way you analyzed this and explained how the overexaggeration worked to prove Peele’s point. Great examples too!

    Like

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