Us: How Zora's Sweatshirt Hints at Dangerous Similarities to Her Mother
It's safe to say that if you've already seen Jordan Peele's second box-office hit, Us, you're questioning every minute of the two-hour film. The horror movie is filled to the brim with Easter eggs and hidden messages, and fans continue to find new aspects of the film to try and decode (when they're not cracking us up with outrageous, but very accurate, observations).
Aside from trying to figure out the film's batsh*t-crazy ending, one of the greatest mysteries in Us has been the significance of all the white rabbits hopping around those creepy tunnels. While the furry creatures can be seen almost everywhere in the film (Peele even manages to sneak in a cameo using them), there's one instance of their presence that's so subtle, fans may not have caught it: Zora's sweatshirt.
All throughout the second half of the film, Zora wears a sweatshirt bearing a single word, "Thỏ," which means "bunny" in Vietnamese. Considering how much Peele loves symbolism, there's no possible way the sweatshirt is a coincidence. While Peele hasn't shared a particular explanation for the sweatshirt's presence, we're of two minds on what its significance could be.
Allusion to Zora's Vulnerability and Innocence
We've mentioned before that rabbits have been known to represent multiple things, one being vulnerability. Zora, like the rabbits, is an innocent who has been thrust into a situation where she's seemingly powerless and vulnerable. She's young and could be easily picked off if she didn't have help. Considering she and her family are some of the few who managed to escape their doppelgängers (well, technically . . .), she's also endangered as one of the few "real" people to survive the havoc.
Allusion to Zora's Connection to the "Real" Red
As we learn in the final moments of the film, Zora and Jason's mother is the "real" Red, the Tethered doppelgänger of Adelaide who switches places with her original when they are children. Adelaide has to learn how to blend in with the outside world as she grows up, but the second half of the film highlights a few slips that hint to her Tethered nature. Adelaide is a perfect example of Peele's concept of duality — a ruthless murderer who wears the face of a concerned mother — which he also attributes to rabbits, calling them an "animal of duality" (they're both cute and creepy).
Her direct connection with the rabbits and Adelaide is enough to make one wonder if Zora herself plays into Peele's concept of duality. There are points in the film that hint that Zora may carry some of her mother's savagery in her: though she starts the journey as a typical moody teenager, Zora quickly finds her footing and becomes a formidable killer. She takes the lead when it comes to killing the Tyler twins and seems to attack them with gusto once she gets started. She even attacks them like her mother, striking repeatedly and mercilessly, crying out as she hits them with her golf club. To further the comparison, both Adelaide and Zora kill one identical twin. It's definitely not your standard mother-daughter bonding activity, but it further highlights their similarities.
Unlike her brother, Zora has no clue about her mother's real identity, but she already takes after her enough that it might not even matter. After all, Zora showed no hints of remorse when she killed her Tyler twin or her own Tethered, much like her mother when she murdered Red. If the family continues fighting their way to peace, will Zora's innocence erode until she's sporting a bad relaxer and murdering folks like her doppelganger was? We sincerely hope not (unless it comes with a sequel).