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|“||Blessed be our New Founding Fathers for letting us Purge and cleanse our souls. Blessed be America, a nation reborn.||„|
|~ A narrative on The Purge, and an official "prayer" of The Purge and the New Founding Fathers of America.|
In the 2013 sci-fi horror/thriller film of the same name, The Purge is a disturbing event conducted by the American government. During a period of 12 hours (from 7pm to 7am), all illegal activity up to murder is legal.
BackgroundIn 2015, The United States of America has undergone a participantsge with unemployment and crime rates at all-time lows. To preserve this sense of prosperity, the governmental body, the New Founding Fathers of America, organizes a yearly event called "The Purge" wherein all American citizens are encouraged to vent their negative feelings and urges within a twelve-hour time period between the evening of a selected date and the following morning. Adding to the disturbance is that, as seen in the reminder poster, all hospital and police services are suspended in order to ensure The Purge is followed through. However, more extreme methods of destruction, such as obtaining WMDs or raiding the military, are still prohibited despite the Purge's otherwise lax setup. Other rules of the Purge include: no government officials who are ranked 10 can be be killed and use of Class 4 weaponry (such as explosives) is strictly prohibited . If a a citizen were to break these rules, they would most likely be charged or possibly executed.
During the event, many participants are shown to wear perverse masks to conceal their identities despite all activities being legal. However, the events of the film shows that it is an effective scare tactic on their part. Going further, The Purge is also revealed to be an act of oppression. As aforementioned, all emergency services are suspended, thus leaving everyone to the mercy of their neighbors and surroundings. Seemingly good-intentioned in its attempt to lower poverty and unemployment, The Purge only manages to reveal a twisted dystopian nation.
Despite the Purge's purpose to be a cathartic experience for those who experience anger or hatred, its purpose is simply to keep the population under control and to ensure the economy's security by eliminating lower class groups.
The First PurgeTo push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. This Purge was contained to Staten Island and began on March 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm. It quickly became apparent to the NFFA that the Purge was not having its desired effect; while some killings took place, most people simply stayed home or partied instead of committing murder. To achieve the desired results of the experiment, the NFFA released teams of mercenaries to slaughter hundreds of people, most of them in blocks of low-income housing. This was passed off as a successful Purge to the public, and the practice was implemented nationwide.
Within the film itself, The Purge is shown to be an anticipated event by many who feel oppressed. A man expresses a desire to murder his boss during the event over the radio as an example of this. The Sandins have gained their fortune from developing security systems designed to protect families from The Purge. However, the security defenses are lowered when one of them permits a pleading man entry. This man, whose name is Dwayne, referred to as the "Bloody Stranger", is specifically targeted by those involved in The Purge, led by Polite Leader, due to his homelessness making him an "ideal candidate". Nevertheless, the Purgers or "Freaks", are killed by the Sandins and their neighbors, who themselves are revealed to be Purgers when they attempt to murder the Sandins out of jealousy. By the end, The Purge is revealed to have an immense success due to high murder counts and stock market opportunities in gun and security system sales.
There is also a particular note of interest in who partakes in The Purge. At the very least, the section of The Purge focused on in the film shows the wealthy and affluent to be those responsible for engaging with The Purge. Their particular targeting of homeless people and those richer/more successful than them also add to the twisted notion of what this incarnation of the United States has become.
The Purge: Anarchy
In the 2014 sequel to the first film, another perspective of The Purge is shown in the following year, centered around 5 survivors trying to make it through the night. This time around, there are roves of bikers who hunt down and abduct people throughout the night. Compared to the Purgers of the first film, they are far more affront in their attacks and wear less detailed masks (although some are still notable, such as one with "GOD" written on the temple). However, it is revealed that the bikers' acts are on the behalf of the rich, who hire them to capture victims for an auction. From there, the rich participants of the Purge round the potential victims and use them as they see fit. Within the film, the main party is captured and taken to be auctioned off, although the tables are soon turned when the leader of anti-Purge group named Carmelo Johns, organizes a counterattack that leaves most of them dead. It is also shown that there is a Resistance growing in the meantime (with the Dwayne, the bloodied stranger of the first film, among their ranks) that seeks to bring down the government.
To further emphasize the government's oppressive nature, there are also SWAT-level teams deployed throughout the night. Their purpose is to increase the kill count to ensure a "successful" Purge, as the second film shows that more people refuse to partake than it was previously believed.
The Purge: Election YearThe Purge returns in the third film, Election Year, where it is threatened with termination by the growing, successful campaign of Senator Charlene Roan. The sole survivor of her family's attack by a Purger on one horrible night, Roan seeks to bring the Purge to an end in the event that she is elected President of the United States. At this time, the Purge has been viewed with extremely negative public opinions due to it senseless killing as well as the exploitation of the upper class toward the lower class in which insurance companies make tons of money from Purge insurance and gun manufacturers profit massively from arms dealing. This puts her at odds with Minister Edwidge Owens, the NFFA candidate in the election race. Enraged by her words and her efforts, Caleb Warrens, the head of the NFFA, pushes to have her removed, so as to preserve the NFFA's image, ensure their candidate's victory, and prevent her influence from undercutting their efforts of culling the poor and promoting the rich.
In turn, the NFFA revokes the rule that prevents Purgers from targeting governmental officials, so that Roan can be legally pursued. Leo Barnes, the head of her security force, helps her escape the NFFA plants sent to prevent her escape. But the two are forced to flee from assorted Purgers, many of them in American garb appropriate of the Washington, D.C. setting, as well as a band of Neo-Nazi mercenaries hired by the NFFA. Although she manages to avoid capture for much of the film, Roan is eventually detained by the mercenaries and brought to Minister Owens' cathedral "Our Lady of Sorrow" in Washington D.C.. There, during the midnight Purge Mass ceremony, the NFFA, before a congregation of their like-minded followers, sacrifice a drug addict to "cleanse themselves", before intending to sacrifice Roan for the "good" of the event. However, with Barnes and the Resistance's combined efforts, working with their plan to attack the church, break in and save Roan, killing several NFFA members and supporters. This includes Warrens, who begins slashing Roan's throat when he is killed by a sniper shot.
Following Owens' defeat and other member deaths, the NFFA loses much influence in the upcoming election. With victory for Roan in sight, it seems as though the Purge may be brought to an end. However, in the final moments of the film, it is reported that several NFFA sympathizers have started riots in order to prevent the dissolution of the Purge. Whether this means the Purge will be successfully terminated is unknown.
Among more of the typical demented psychopaths, Election Year also presents a disturbing trade in "murder tourism". This is demonstrated with a band of Russian tourists who fly to Washington, D.C., so that they may take advantage of the Purge's revoking of laws to engage in psychopathic behavior. Acting as the Americana-garbed lunatics seen in the promotions of the film (with their leader, fittingly, donning an Uncle Sam costume), they briefly target Roan and Barnes and simultaneously gloat about their sadistic intents and praise the United States for providing them such a "wondrous opportunity". While they are executed, their presence highlights another disturbing facet of the event.
- The Purge is designed to act as a catharsis for the American people, so that they may vent all negative emotions and repressed urges however and on whomever they desire. Theoretically, this is to ensure they lower the crime rate and keep people from performing any destructive actions or engaging harmful habits throughout the rest of the year. The idea of The Purge is very similar to the Krypteia tradition every autumn of ancient Sparta.
- It has been demonstrated through psychological studies that encouraging such behaviors actually increases the likelihood of people repeating crimes and offenses the more they are given such opportunities. However, as the events of the film demonstrate, The Purge is not to help the people, but the oppressive American government in ensuring crowd control, economic strongholds, and the removal of dissidents.
- The Purge is also the alias of a desperate security protocol called System Purge in the comedy/horror movie The Cabin in the Woods.
- Despite the time shown in the film to be a Thursday, March 22nd, 2022, that date is a Tuesday in the real year 2022, the year the film takes place.
- The Purge is related to the Star Trek Episode: Return of the Archons, where a planet of humanoids are subject to monotonous life, but at the beginning of the Red Hour, 6:00, everyone begins acting chaotic and rapes and pillages everywhere for 12 hours straight.