The Graduate Review


In Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror movie Get Out, Peele makes both white liberalism and the horror genre targets of satire. The subversion of traditional horror clichés and tropes such as Carol Clover’s Final Girl and body stealing/identity theft allows Peele to parody the genre as well as reorient audiences against stereotypes of blackness. In order to discuss the subversion of expectations, it is important to first identify moments of codeswitching. Another point of importance is noticing how Chris Washington’s role as Get Out’s Final Girl challenges stereotypical representations of black masculinity in other media. Additionally, to discuss automatic revulsion towards body snatching, criticism of Cold War era horror’s fear of assimilation can be applied towards exploring the relationship between Get Out and earlier horror movies. While it may be easy to dismiss Peele’s genre choice as simply a vehicle for satires of white liberalism, the reality that Peele addresses is horrific; the use of black bodies to elevate white liberalism may be at times only figurative in the real world, but when made literal it would be very difficult to separate body snatching from horror. Because of horror’s own compliance in perpetuating negative stereotypes about black bodies, it functions as the perfect mode in which to criticize both media representations of black men and white liberalism.

Note on the Author

Jillian Boger is pursuing her Master of Arts in English. She completed her writing under the guidance of Dr. Kimberly Davis in the fall of 2017. Jillian plans to pursue a Ph.D. in literature in the fall of 2019.

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