Supremacy versus Solidarity: Holding White Womanhood Accountable in Candyman and Get Out Open Access

Grasberg, Sara (Spring 2018)

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Drawing on previous horror scholarship centered upon issues of privilege, power, and punishment inherent in monster/victim dynamics as well as feminist theoretical frameworks, this thesis traces the evolution of representations between Candyman (1992) and Get Out (2017) considering how White womanhood as portrayed in both films is culpable and complicit in exploiting and oppressing Black men and Black women, and thus in upholding White supremacy. Each chapter within this thesis analyzes the films’ White female characters in their interactions with Black men, Black women, and White men, respectively, thereby demonstrating how and why the representations of White womanhood change from Candyman to Get Out. By holding accountable these representations of White women—and by situating such readings of White womanhood also within the films’ sociopolitical and historical contexts—both the horror genre and likewise scholarship on the horror genre may ultimately emerge as potent tools for reflection and advocacy, in terms of intersectional feminism and accountability within society.

Table of Contents

Introduction: From Racist Horror to the Horror of Racism..........1

Chapter 1: On Genre, Gender, Race, and Reality—Theoretical Frameworks..........14

Chapter 2: Miscegenation & Interracial Relations—White Women/Black Men..........41 

Chapter 3: Solidarity & Exclusion—White Women/Black Women..........81

Conclusion: Culpability & Complicity—White Women/White Men..........113

Works Cited: Non-Printed Sources..........143

Works Cited: Printed Sources..........144

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