Get Out (film)

Get Out (film) Essay Questions

  1. 1

    How does Jordan Peele use humor in the film?

    The film is certainly not a strict comedy, in that it deals with horrific and very intense themes and situations. However, there are little moments of dark satirical humor included in the film. Rod, for instance, is an exceedingly humorous character, and his lines often seem like the musings of a stand-up comedian, who can find the bright spot in any dark situation. Even when he is warning Chris to get out of the Armitage house, he gives it a comic twist. Even at the end, when there is nothing to laugh about, Rod delivers some hilarious lines to close the film.

    There are other more subtle elements of humor in the film. One particular one is when Chris is killing each of the members of the Armitage family in the downstairs of the house. Just when we start to wonder where Rose went, we see her sitting on her bed listening to an 80s pop song and looking at pictures of fit, shirtless black men on her computer. This moment, of deranged calm and detachment, strikes a humorous contrast with the intensity of the violence taking place elsewhere. It also satirizes Rose's position as a "basic" white girl, depicting her as both cold-blooded and clueless.

  2. 2

    Why does Jim Hudson buy Chris at the auction?

    Jim Hudson seems like an ally at the Armitage's party, but it turns out that he just wants to buy Chris so that he can have his brain transplanted into Chris' body. Hudson is blind, for one, and wants to be able to see, but he also wants to be able to use Chris' talent as a photographer.

  3. 3

    Who is the primary antagonist in the film?

    Rose stands out as the primary antagonist in the film because of how manipulative and dishonest she is to Chris. While each member of the Armitage family is an antagonist and manipulates Chris in different ways, Rose's dishonesty is so elaborate that she ends up becoming the most evil and antagonistic character in the film. After leading Chris to believe that he can trust her and that she loves him deeply, it becomes clear that this is not the case, and that she wants him either dead or braindead.

  4. 4

    What does the film have to say about casual racism among American liberals and seemingly progressive people?

    The Armitages are undoubtedly a unique breed, horror master-villains with a near-psychopathic racist bent, but before this is revealed they represent a kind of "woke" liberal family, who believe that they are not part of the problem of racism. Before they go to visit her parents, Rose assures Chris that they will not have a problem with his race, that it will be a non-issue, and that the worst thing that will happen will be her dad being "lame" and talking about how much he loves Obama.

    When they arrive, the Armitages are warm and accepting, but there are little behaviors that flag for Chris that they are fixated on his race. For instance, Dean tells Chris that he would have voted for Obama for a third term as if this is some kind of special virtue, which makes Chris feel a little awkward. He also refers to Chris as "my man" throughout the visit and makes little awkward stabs at appearing "down" with black people. Rose's brother is nice enough, but also creepily fixated on Chris' physical attributes, even challenging him to a fight. Rose's mother, Missy, get impatient with the black servant and snaps at her when she spills some tea. These are tiny events, but they represent the kinds of "microaggressions" that make Chris feel alienated, and as the plot unfolds, they belie a much more insidious and violent obsession with Chris' race, and a desire to dominate him.

  5. 5

    Why is it important that Rod is the one who picks up Chris?

    Jordan Peele originally wrote an unhappy ending, one in which the police arrive just as Chris is strangling Rose in the road. It doesn't look good for him, and the policemen don't investigate whether he is acting in self-defense or not, taking him in for questioning and believing him to be the villain. This original ending was a comment on the injustices black men face at the hands of the law. In this ending, even though Chris is trying to fight for his life, he is punished because of racial bias. Peele decided to scrap that ending, however, and make it more hopeful, by having Rod be the one to save him. This way, Chris doesn't have to face a skeptical authority, just the chiding of his best friend telling him, "I told you so." In most horror movies, the arrival of the police is a welcome thing, but in Get Out, in which a black man is the protagonist, the arrival of the police is a horrifying fate in and of itself.