What Does the Deer in Get Out Symbolize? Decoding the Meaning Behind the Iconic Animal

Have you ever wondered what that deer actually symbolizes in the award-winning horror movie, Get Out? The film’s storyline is captivating, the direction is exceptional, but the symbolism is what makes it thought-provoking and unforgettable. The recurring appearance of the deer throughout the movie holds special significance, and as an audience, we need to understand what it symbolizes.

For starters, let’s take a moment to reflect on the context in which the deer appears. Have you noticed it always appears in or around the white neighborhoods in the film? The deer is a representation of the black body in a white man’s world. It signifies the white man’s exploitation and disregard of the black community, much like how they exploit the deer for their entertainment and pleasure. Thus the deer symbolizes the black body and serves as a tool for racial commentary.

Furthermore, the deer’s presence in the movie is also reminiscent of racism’s historical context in America. It bears testimony to the brutalities and injustices faced by the black community in the past. Remember, during colonial times, hunting was a popular white man sport while the blacks were enslaved. The connection between this history and the deer appearing in the white man’s world in Get Out is obvious. The deer symbolizes the injustices and oppression that have been faced by the black community for centuries, a topic that is equally relevant today.

Introduction to “Get Out” movie

“Get Out” is a critically acclaimed horror film directed by Jordan Peele that tackles the issue of racism in America. The movie follows Chris Washington, a black man who visits his white girlfriend’s family for the weekend, only to discover their sinister plot to harness African American bodies for their own benefit. The film is thought-provoking, chilling, and filled with symbolism that reveals deeper commentary on the state of race relations in the United States.

  • The movie explores the fear of appropriation and exploitation: Throughout the film, viewers witness how the white family appropriates black culture and bodies to further their own motives. The party scene, for example, is filled with white people eager to flex their “blackness” by performing culturally appropriative acts such as donning dreadlocks and practicing martial arts. This scene highlights the obsession with black culture that exists in society, and how it has potentially dire consequences when taken too far.
  • The deer symbolism in Get Out: One of the most impactful symbols in “Get Out” is the deer. Throughout the film, there are various references to deer, including a stuffed deer head on the wall and a deer that Chris hits with his car on the way to the family’s estate. The deer is seen as a representation of Chris himself, who is initially seen as a gentle and innocent creature but ultimately becomes a target for violent and deadly actions by the family. The deer also represents the way that people of color are hunted and killed in America, dehumanized and reduced to nothing more than game.
  • The themes of white supremacy and the dangers of assimilation: “Get Out” also explores the idea of white supremacy by showcasing how the white family in the film views themselves as superior while dehumanizing and exploiting black individuals. Additionally, the movie suggests that assimilating into white culture and abandoning one’s own identity is dangerous and can have deadly consequences.

Overall, “Get Out” is a film that has sparked important discussions and analysis on racism in America. Through its use of symbolism and haunting portrayal of the horrors of cultural appropriation and exploitation, it serves as a reminder of the pressing need for awareness and action in order to combat racism and promote equity and justice in society.

Deer as a Recurring Symbol in the Movie

The symbol of the deer played a significant role in the movie Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele. The deer appeared multiple times throughout the film, serving as an important symbol that ties the story and its central themes together.

  • The deer first appeared in the opening credits, where we see a close-up shot of a deer’s eye.
  • Later on, Chris (the main character) and his girlfriend hit a deer while driving to her parents’ house.
  • The deer appears again when Chris is standing outside smoking, and he sees the deer again. This time he stares at it and approaches it, but it runs away scared.

So what does the deer symbolize?

One interpretation is that the deer represents Chris’s fear and vulnerability. In the beginning of the film, when we see the close-up shot of the deer’s eye, it sets the tone for what’s to come. This shot is dramatic and intense, which foreshadows the suspenseful and thrilling moments that are to follow. When the deer is hit, it’s as if Chris’s own vulnerability has been exposed. He realizes that he too could easily become a victim.

Furthermore, the deer can also be seen as a metaphor for the African-American experience. Throughout American history, hunting and killing deer has been seen as a symbol of power and dominance. However, in the context of the film, it is Chris who is being hunted and exploited, not the other way around.

Scene Symbolism of the Deer
Opening Credits Fear and vulnerability
Car Accident Chris’s vulnerability and potential as a victim
Chris Smoking Metaphor for African-American experience

Overall, the deer serves as a recurring symbol that ties together the film’s various themes and messages. Whether it’s representing fear and vulnerability or the African-American experience, the deer is an important and powerful symbol that adds depth and texture to the movie.

Importance of the opening scene featuring a deer

The opening scene of the horror-thriller movie ‘Get Out’ showcases a deer being hit by a car. It sets the tone for the entire movie and symbolizes various themes and motifs that are explored throughout the movie. Through the character of the deer, we get a glimpse into the world of the movie and the issues that it will address.

  • The deer symbolizes innocence and vulnerability. It is a helpless creature that has been killed by a car, a symbol of human recklessness and disregard for life. This theme resonates throughout the movie as the protagonist Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, is also perceived as innocent, vulnerable, and in need of protection.
  • The deer is also a symbol of racism. It is significant that the deer is killed by a white woman driving the car. The scene highlights the racial tension and violence that exists in America, especially towards black people. This theme is explored throughout the movie as Chris is constantly subjected to racism and micro-aggressions from the white characters in the movie.
  • The deer is a metaphor for sacrifice. As the deer is hit by the car, it sacrifices its life to make way for something else. Similarly, the movie explores the theme of sacrifice and how people sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others. In the movie, we see how Chris’s girlfriend, Rose Armitage, sacrifices him for her own selfish motives.

The opening scene featuring a deer is a critical part of the movie and sets the stage for the themes and motifs that are explored throughout the movie.

Deer as a Metaphor for Black Bodies Being Hunted

In the movie Get Out, the deer symbolizes the hunted black body. The metaphor of the deer as a hunted and killed animal is a poignant one in American history, particularly when considering the history of hunting practices during slavery and the Jim Crow era. It is no coincidence that the deer is depicted as a trophy of the white characters, as it represents the way white society historically viewed black bodies as objects to be hunted and captured for sport.

  • The metaphor of the deer as a hunted and killed animal mirrors the way black bodies have been hunted and killed throughout American history.
  • The deer serves as a symbol of the way white society has historically viewed black bodies as objects to be captured and dominated.
  • The deer is a powerful representation of the way black bodies are perceived as less than human, just like an animal to be hunted and killed.

It is also worth noting the way the deer serves as a warning to the main character, Chris, about his impending danger in a predominantly white community. The deer’s death foreshadows Chris’s own struggle to survive in a world where he is seen as the “other” and is constantly under threat from white supremacy.

In conclusion, the deer in Get Out is a powerful symbol of the way black bodies have been hunted and killed throughout American history. Its use in the film is a reminder of the continued struggle against white supremacy and the fight for racial justice.


Smithsonian Magazine https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-are-deer-so-important-african-american-culture-180961719/
The Baffler https://thebaffler.com/latest/get-out-as-a-critique-of-capitalism-van-ommen

Symbolism of the deer head on the wall in the movie’s finale

The deer head on the wall in the movie’s finale is a key symbol that holds significant meaning throughout the film. It represents the exploitation and objectification of black bodies in America, particularly in the ways in which white people use and consume them. Here are five ways in which the deer head serves as a powerful symbol:

  • White ownership of black bodies: The deer head on the wall is a trophy that serves as a symbol of white ownership of the black body. Throughout the film, we see the white characters use black bodies for their own gain without any regard for their humanity or well-being. This is epitomized by the final scene in which the deer head looms over Chris as he fights for his life.
  • Dehumanization and objectification: The deer head is a reminder of the ways in which black bodies have been dehumanized and objectified in American history. In particular, it parallels the ways in which slaves were treated as property and valued only for their labor. The deer head serves as a powerful symbol of this objectification and reminds us of the long history of violence and exploitation that black bodies have endured.
  • Masculinity and domination: The deer head is also a symbol of hyper-masculinity and domination, two values that are prized by the white characters in the film. It represents the power and strength that white men feel they need to assert over black bodies in order to maintain their dominance and control. This is seen most clearly in the character of Dean Armitage, who is obsessed with the idea of taking over Chris’s body and using it as his own.
  • Nature and violence: The deer head is a reminder of our primal, animal nature and the violence that comes with it. In the film, the white characters view Chris and the other black characters as being closer to this animal nature than to civilization or culture. This view is reflected in the symbolism of the deer head, which represents the wild and untamed aspects of nature.
  • Foreshadowing of Chris’s fate: Finally, the deer head foreshadows Chris’s ultimate fate at the hands of the white characters. Just as the deer was hunted and killed for sport, Chris is similarly hunted and objectified by the white characters for their own purposes. The presence of the deer head throughout the film serves as a reminder of the dangers that Chris is facing and adds to the tension and suspense of the movie’s finale.

Overall, the deer head on the wall in the movie’s finale is a potent symbol that carries a great deal of meaning and significance. It represents the exploitation and objectification of black bodies, the violence and domination that is felt by the white characters, and the foreshadowing of Chris’s ultimate fate. Through its use of potent symbolism, Get Out is able to comment on the historic and ongoing mistreatment of black bodies in America, and to challenge us to confront the ways in which we objectify and dehumanize others.

The deer as foreshadowing for the main character’s fate

In the horror movie Get Out, the presence of the deer is heavily used as a symbol of foreshadowing of the main character’s fate. Throughout the film, the deer appears on various occasions, such as in the opening scene where it is hit by a car. Each time it appears, it seems to be in distress or dying, providing a glimpse into what is to come for the protagonist, Chris.

  • The deer symbolizes Chris’s vulnerability and powerlessness. Just like the deer, Chris is thrust into a situation where he is hunted and preyed upon.
  • The deer also represents Chris’s innocence and goodness, as it is shown to be a gentle animal that does not deserve the violence it faces. Similarly, Chris is a kind-hearted person who does not deserve the horrors he experiences.
  • The deer can also be seen as a metaphor for the African American community as a whole, who are often hunted and victimized by society.

The use of the deer as a symbol throughout the film helps to create a sense of dread and unease, alerting the audience to the impending danger that Chris faces. By the time the final act of the film arrives, the audience is already aware that something terrible is going to happen to Chris, and the appearance of the deer serves as a confirmation of this fear.

Overall, the deer in Get Out is a powerful symbol that uses foreshadowing to build tension and increase the horror of the film. Its repeated appearances serve to remind the audience of the danger that Chris faces and emphasize the underlying themes of the movie.

Comparison of the deer to other animals depicted in the movie

In Get Out, the deer is undoubtedly the most prominently featured animal. However, there are several other animals that appear throughout the film. Let’s take a closer look at how the deer compares to these other creatures.

  • The Buck – Aside from the deer, the only other animal that receives a significant amount of attention in Get Out is the buck. The buck is the embodiment of the film’s central themes. It is a symbol of masculinity, aggression, and dominance. This is demonstrated in the opening scene when a hit-and-run accident involving a buck sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
  • The Dog – The Armitage family owns a pet dog, Walter, who is more than he seems. Like the deer, the dog also becomes a victim of mental and physical manipulation. However, in contrast to the deer, Walter eventually breaks free of the hypnosis and helps Chris escape the Armitage estate.
  • The Crow – A small but significant animal that appears in Get Out is the crow. Crows are often associated with death, and in this film, they serve as a warning sign that something sinister is going on. One of the most striking scenes in the movie is when a single crow lands on a tree and stares directly at Chris, seemingly warning him of the danger ahead.

Out of all these animals, the deer is by far the most complex and significant. It not only embodies multiple themes and symbols, but it is also directly tied to the film’s plot and characters.

Here’s a breakdown of the key comparisons:

Animal Symbolism Significance to plot/characters
Deer Victim, innocence, sacrifice, hypnotism, fragility Chris’ mother hit a deer, used as a hypnotic trigger for Chris, serves as a turning point for Rod’s investigation
Buck Aggression, masculinity, dominance Sets the tone for the rest of the movie, symbolizes the exploitation of black bodies
Dog Loyalty, deception, manipulation Used as a hypnotic trigger for Logan, eventually helps Chris escape
Crow Death, warning Warns Chris of the danger ahead, foreshadows the eventual deaths of the Armitage family

Overall, each animal serves a unique purpose in the story, and together, they create a rich tapestry of themes and symbols that make Get Out such a thought-provoking and satisfying movie experience.

The deer as a representation of sacrifice and loss

One of the most prominent symbols in the film “Get Out” is the deer, which represents sacrifice and loss. This is highlighted in several ways throughout the movie.

  • At the beginning of the film, Chris notices a deer on the side of the road that has been hit by a car. This sets the tone for the rest of the movie, as it foreshadows the sacrifice and loss that will occur.
  • The deer is also a symbol of vulnerability. Just as the deer on the side of the road was vulnerable to being hit by a car, Chris is vulnerable to the dangers that he faces as a black man visiting the home of his white girlfriend’s family.
  • The deer also represents innocence. It is an innocent creature that becomes a victim of circumstance, just as Chris is innocent but becomes a victim of the sinister plot of the Armitage family.

Another important aspect of the deer as a symbol of sacrifice and loss is its connection to the number 8.

In Chinese culture, the number 8 is associated with wealth and prosperity. However, it is also associated with sacrifice and loss because the word for “eight” in Mandarin sounds similar to the word for “death.” This connection is subtly referenced throughout the film.

For example, when Chris is hypnotized by Missy Armitage, she uses a teacup and spoon to induce his trance. The spoon taps against the teacup eight times, which can be interpreted as a metaphorical reference to death.

Symbol Meaning
The deer Sacrifice and loss
The number 8 Wealth, prosperity, and also sacrifice and loss

Overall, the deer in “Get Out” is a powerful symbol of sacrifice and loss, and its connection to the number 8 adds an extra layer of meaning to the film. It serves as a reminder that even in the face of wealth and prosperity, sacrifice and loss are a part of life.

The deer as a commentary on white privilege and entitlement

In “Get Out,” the deer is a powerful symbol that represents white privilege and entitlement. The deer’s violent fate is symbolic of what happens to black bodies when they are in the hands of white people.

  • The deer’s death is the result of a hit and run accident caused by a white driver who never even stops to check on the animal. This is reminiscent of the disregard that white people have shown towards black lives throughout history. It highlights the way in which black lives are seen as expendable and disposable in the eyes of those in power.
  • When Rose’s father, Dean, takes Chris out to shoot the deer, he sees it as a way of bonding with his future son-in-law. However, this act also highlights the way in which white people can use black bodies for their own entertainment and enjoyment without any regard for their feelings or well-being.
  • The deer’s head, which is later seen mounted on the wall of the Armitage house, is a visual reminder of the way in which white people have historically used the bodies of black people for decoration and display. This is a clear commentary on the way in which white people have appropriated black culture and used it for their own purposes.

Overall, the deer represents the way in which black bodies have been used and abused by white people throughout history. It is a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and the need for white people to recognize their privilege and work towards dismantling systemic racism.

The deer’s symbolism in “Get Out” is a prime example of how art can be used to convey important societal issues. It is a powerful metaphor that highlights the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in our society.

Symbolism of the deer in “Get Out” Explanation
Hit and run accident Disregard for black lives
Deer hunting Use of black bodies for entertainment
Mounted head on wall Appropriation of black culture

In conclusion, the deer in “Get Out” serves as a powerful commentary on white privilege and entitlement. Its symbolism highlights the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equality in our society. It is a potent reminder that we must all work towards dismantling systemic racism and creating a more equitable world for all.

Analysis of the Cultural Significance of Deer in African American Folklore

The deer has deep cultural significance in African American folklore, representing various themes such as survival, resilience, adaptability, and beauty. Here are some of the ways in which the deer has been portrayed:

  • Trickster Figure – In some African American tales, the deer is a trickster figure who uses his wit to outsmart his enemies. This portrayal highlights the importance of cleverness and resourcefulness as survival skills.
  • Symbol of Freedom – For enslaved Africans brought to North America, the deer represented freedom and the ability to roam free. In some tales, the deer helps slaves escape from their masters, inspiring them to seek freedom in the North.
  • Messenger from the Spirit World – In some African American spiritual traditions, the deer is considered a messenger from the spirit world. The appearance of a deer in one’s dreams or vision may signify important messages from one’s ancestors or spirit guides.

Furthermore, beyond folklore, the deer’s physical attributes have also been praised in African American culture, particularly its strength and agility. The deer’s beauty and grace have been admired in various forms of art, from poetry to paintings.


Overall, the deer in African American folklore represents various themes of survival, resilience, adaptability, and beauty. Its importance in African American culture goes beyond its physical attributes and serves as a reminder of the strength and intelligence needed for survival in difficult circumstances.

What Does the Deer in Get Out Symbolize: 7 FAQs

1. What is the significance of the deer in Get Out?

The deer is a recurring symbol in Get Out, representing both the theme of racial exploitation and the trauma of Chris’ past.

2. What does the dead deer symbolize?

The dead deer symbolizes death and destruction, as well as the racism and violence that is prevalent in American society.

3. What does the deer hitting the car symbolize?

The deer hitting the car symbolizes the collision of white and black culture in America, as well as the collision of Chris’ past trauma with his present life.

4. What does the deer in the flashbacks represent?

The deer in the flashbacks represent the death of Chris’ mother, who was hit by a car, and the trauma that he has been carrying with him.

5. Why is the deer a meaningful symbol?

The deer is a meaningful symbol because it represents both Chris’ personal trauma and the larger societal issues of racism and violence.

6. What does the deer auction scene symbolize?

The deer auction scene symbolizes the commodification of black bodies and the exploitation of black people for profit.

7. How does the deer symbol contribute to the film’s overall message?

The deer symbol contributes to the film’s overall message by showing how the violence and trauma of America’s racist past continue to haunt and affect black people today.

Closing Title: Thanks for Joining the Discussion on “What Does the Deer in Get Out Symbolize”

Thanks for reading this article on the significance of the deer in Get Out. The deer serves as a powerful symbol throughout the film, representing themes of racial exploitation, trauma, and violence. As you re-watch the film or discuss it with others, keep the meaning of the deer in mind and consider its contribution to the film’s overall message. Be sure to check back for more content on film analysis and symbolism.