Get Out Challenges Our Perceptions of Slavery and Racism

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Lifestyle Staff Writer| Katie Oinonen| ko494815@ohio.edu

Does slavery still exist? The recent film “Get Out” seems to answer this question for us.

“Get Out” takes place in the rural, all-white neighborhood at the main character, Chris’ girlfriend Rose’s house. Chris, who is an African American, is concerned about his girlfriend’s parents liking him because of his race. The conflict that occurs is actually completely the opposite. During his stay, he notices that Rose’s family is stranger than he expected. They own a few African American caretakers who seem to be more than happy to do anything for their white “family.” Halfway through the film, Rose’s family has a gathering at the estate. Rose’s family seems to be studying Chris and making extremely racist remarks as well as giving him somewhat of an interview. This interview encompasses how good of a person he would literally be for the white characters. Chris starts to panic and becomes uncomfortable, and he informs Rose he wants to leave. She agrees with him, but as the story progresses, it is not that easy to simply “get out.”

“Get Out, created by Comedy Central’s Jordan Peele, is far from a laughing matter. Photo Credit: Get Out trailer, Universal Pictures via Youtube.

Viewers claim “Get Out” had a deeper meaning than just a typical horror film. “’Get Out’ really shows that slavery is more than just the idea of controlling somebody,” said Destinee Walters, an African American viewer of the film.

“Get Out” shows how white characters physically become African Americans in order to become “better.” Walters expressed her gratitude of the film because it showed that racism is not dead, even though the film focuses on the positive aspects for African Americans. Just because the strengths of African Americans are stereotyped and desired in the film, it doesn’t mean that it is all fictional. Slavery is a real thing that occurs every day in parts of the United States.

“The movie had a lasting impact on me,” Danah Beaver, a psychology student, said. She claimed that the deeper meaning of the film was more about how we desire things we cannot have. She went on to explain that it affects students by opening their eyes to show desire goes beyond physical shape. It goes internally, such as a student wanting to be as proficient in one class as another student is. “Get Out” expresses these desires as an old, blind man wants Chris’s eye because of the photography skills Chris possesses.

Bella Maralli, an English education student, claims the film was predictable, but seemed to follow a good story line. “The movie accurately represented slavery in a modern setting,” she said.

Instead of people using African Americans as gardeners and housekeepers, it also showed that they could be used to become a better version of themselves. It was not your stereotypical case when it comes to slavery. At the end of the film, Chris makes an escape and tries to kill Rose. As he is committing the act, a police car pulls up. Maralli, like many viewers, assumed that Chris was going to be shot and/or arrested because of the society we live in today. The film  opened a different idea of racism and slavery to a broad audience.

 

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