‘Django Unchained’ Fan Theory Explains the Quentin Tarantino Film as a ‘Cautionary Tale of the White Ally’

Quentin Tarantino has a rich filmography that fans love to explore the meaning of, including Django Unchained. One theory, in particular, has Reddit excited to discuss the implications. A Django Unchained fan theory explores the Tarantino film as a “cautionary tale of the white ally.”

The ‘Django Unchained’ story from a glance

'Django Unchained' actors Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx, whose on-screen relationship developed a fan theory. The two actors shake hands while smiling in front of the step and repeat.
L-R: Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx | Sean Gallup/Getty Images for Sony Pictures

A Django Unchained Reddit fan theory provides an introduction of what the Tarantino movie is on the surface. Next, they dig into the background and the “meat of the theory.”

From afar, the Western is a revenge story following a former slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) rescuing his wife, Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington), from a slave owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Dr. King Schultz gives the former slave his freedom and agrees to help him retrieve his wife.

This particular Django Unchained fan theory seeks to explain how the relationship between Django and Schultz is actually a “cautionary tale of the white ally, masterfully embodied in the character of Dr. Schultz, and the mistake of putting all your hope in them.”

‘Django Unchained’ fan theory explores the film as a ‘cautionary tale of the white ally’

The Django Unchained Reddit fan theory establishes that Dr. Schultz is the supporting character that the audience grows to love. He generally treats Django as his equal and works with him to reclaim his wife, putting the viewer directly on his side. Schultz becomes the white ally, but not in the way that other movies utilize the “great white savior” theme.

Rather, Dr. Schultz becomes the final barrier to Django, as the plan is for him to strike a deal with Candie to buy Broomhilda and set her free with her husband. However, the slave owner asks for a handshake from Dr. Schultz, who absolutely refuses to do so and shoots him instead. As a result, their plan is left in ashes.

The Django Unchained fan theory explains that this is when the story becomes a redemption arc for Django because his partner ruined their plan. “It is the cautionary tale of giving into the temptation of fulfilling one’s own hero story in the context of social justice for another,” the Redditor wrote. “Schultz in that moment indulged in his hero story rather than assist in Django’s.”

The intention isn’t to make Dr. Schultz the antagonist, as his other actions prove. “It is when the hero story of the supporting character becomes more important than the hero story of the marginalized character that the cause itself becomes lost,” the original poster wrote. “Schultz became so consumed by his own self-righteousness that the original purpose of the fight was forgotten and replaced with his own fight.” As a result, “Black independence” and “white self-righteousness” become interwoven narratives throughout the story.

Django ultimately takes things into his own hands to save his wife, no longer relying on the man who allowed his self-righteousness to blind him.

Other fans further develop the theory

Other Redditors further developed the Django Unchained fan theory. As the original poster indicated, there are many possible conclusions to develop from Tarantino’s movie. Another comment explained that “It might also simply be a warning against over-planning/over-complicating things.”

However, another Redditor explained that Dr. Schultz sees the bigger picture beyond Django reuniting with Broomhilda. “To him destroying Candyland is more important than the reconnection of Django and his wife,” the Redditor wrote. “It is worth giving his life for.”

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