Get Out symbolism and MELODRAMA

Like any movie ever produced, Get Out holds its fair share of symbolism and symbolic events that provide subtext film’s narrative. However, not all of the symbols and major events are created equally. Stand out motifs such as “the sunken place”, “the deer”, “cotton”, and the infamous “spoon and teacup” not only provide real-world and/or intra-narrative context but, emphasize the melodramatic tropes intermixed within the plot.  

 The Sunken Place

“The sunken place” is the abyss Missy uses to send Chris’ consciousness after hypnotizing and subduing him. In a tweet published after the release of the film, Jordan Peele reveals how “the sunken place” represents the marginalization of people of color by a repressive system. Placing people in “the sunken place” allows the system to silence the voice of many and facilitate the its control over minorities. Chris’ multiple visits to “the sunken place” reflects how liberal’s microaggressions and blatant racism can have the same effect on people of color, and furthermore highlights the sinister element that this oppressive void.





In the film, the deer motif serves to emphasize Chris’ tragic hero backstory and elements of the Sirkian melodrama that unfolds. For Chris, the deer motif act as a reminder of his failure to save his mother when he was young. Although the death of his mother is not entirely his fault, reminders of his inaction lead to bad judgement calls as as he attempts to redeem himself for his mistakes. On the other hand, the deer motif also serves as a sinister undertone for Dean Armitage’s rant on deer upon Chris and Rose’s arrival. Unlike the microaggressions Dean perpetuates, his strange rant on killing all the deer can be interpreted as subliminal racism where he wishes to get rid of all people of color, or at the very least black people.




The act of picking cotton is typically an action most Black Americans dissociate themselves from. The long history of slavery and racism in the United States has forever marked this association as a staple of oppression and injustice. So it come to a surprise that in Get Out, Jordan Peele uses this imagery as a means for Chris to liberate himself from his captors.  Peele’s use of this symbol, magnifies Chris’ tragic hero characteristics. A key characteristic of a tragic hero is excessive pride of oneself. The life and death situation in which Chris finds himself tests exactly that. Inside of Chris, an internal argument ensues about whether he should maintain his pride, or succumb to the thing he hates the most for the sake of his own survival.  

The Teacup and Spoon

The teacup and silver spoon are representative of a privilege that is passes from generation to generation in the Armitage family. This privilege refers to the family’s affluence, white privilege and wealth, all things the family requires to continue their insidious operation. Additionally, Peele establishes the two items as instruments of evil. The items are used to mentally enslave the the family’s Black victims. The hero must therefore destroy them in order to defeat the evil entity (the family) and save the day.