Leave the World Behind viewers, especially on Reddit, have been curious to know about the meaning of seeing deer since the movie does not explain anything. Well, they represented the destruction of animals’ habitats due to environmental disasters.
Leave the World Behind on Netflix is a psychological thriller movie adapted from Rumaan Alam‘s 2020 eponymous novel starring Ethan Hawke and Julia Roberts as Clay and Amanda Sandford, a married couple who travel to a luxurious rental house for a weekend getaway with their two children, Archie and Rose.
Their calm holiday is suddenly disrupted by the appearance of two strangers — G.H. Scott and his daughter Ruth — who claim property ownership. The Scotts arrive with disturbing news of a strange hack. The two families, dealing with the impending calamity in their separate ways, must come to terms with the possibility that the world will collapse.
Both families encounter a large herd of deer while dealing with a mysterious emergency. Clay initially considers the appearance of a couple of deer to be a positive omen and a bright start to his family’s holiday in the house they rented out for the weekend.
However, the herd quickly becomes a frightening presence on and around the farm, especially as the deers surround Ruth. Since the movie does not explain what seeing those deers means, here is our take on its possible meaning.
Unfold the Meaning of Seeing Deer in Leave the World Behind!
Rose Sandford (Farrah Mackenzie) sees an increasing number of deer encircling the home throughout Leave the World Behind, both in the Netflix film and the original novel. But what is its meaning? What does seeing all those deer mean?
Viewers are told in the film that this is due to an environmental disaster caused by a loss of signal across the country. According to a radio report in Clay‘s (Ethan Hawke) car, the crisis, which is primarily impacting the south, is disrupting animal migration patterns. This extends to birds, including flamingos, but is most visible during Leave the World Behind with the deer motif.
The deer was a symbol of animals facing problems due to environmental disasters.
Image Source: Netflix
When the Sandfords arrive at their vacation home, Amanda (Julia Roberts) remarks on how incredible it is to watch a mother deer with her baby in the garden. Rose later spots a flock of them after the power goes out, implying to her brother Archie (Charlie Evans) that they are attempting to communicate with the family. The number of deer grows throughout the film, finally encircling Amanda and Ruth Scott (Myha’la) in the woods behind the house
According to one interpretation of Rumaan Alam‘s original novel, Leave the World Behind, the deer is a metaphor for a swiftly changing world. They may be meant to reflect how humans cannot control everything that happens to them, with the presence of the flamingos in the family pool symbolizing the end of the logical world itself.
Meanwhile, director Sam Esmail recently explained its meaning saying,
I always say “f*ck plot”. Logic is not something that people necessarily care about. It’s emotional truths, and it’s tone, and this film has a nightmarish quality to it. There was something really ominous about the deer — they’re in the book and I expanded on it, because I thought the imagery was so striking.
You know, I can sit here and talk metaphorically about how they represent this idea of nature, as a warning sign about what we’re going through, and how our tech is blinding us to it. But there’s also just a tonal quality about how nightmarish this scenario has become.
Reddit Discusses What the Meaning of Deer in Leave the World Behind!
While there is no actual explanation of what deer means in Leave the World Behind, some people took to Reddit and shared what they believe. One user wrote,
The animals represented nature. The deer were “warning” Rosie about something happening. This might be a stand in for the impending climate crisis facing our world and our reluctance to listen to it. This also makes sense given Rosie’s West Wing story. Toward the end the deer are confronting our characters. There are so many deer, just like there is so much evidence that the climate is changing…
One Reddit user believes the deer was a warning about something happening in the nature.
Image Source: Netflix
On the other hand, another uses believes it was symbolic.
They were symbolic. The archetype of the deer being witnessed by two particular characters, the daughters of the family whose names both start with ‘R’, can refer to reconnection with an instinctual nature that is predisposed towards empathy and cooperation. It is an allusion to the fact that there is a sort of return to nature and that their lives will now depend on cooperation and overcoming their differences.