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The Purge

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The Purge

A live CCTV feed of the Purge in Annapolis, Maryland at 3:43am in the year 2018 A.D.

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.

In the 2013 horror 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.

Background

The Purge Prayer

The Purge prayer.

In 2013, The United States of America has undergone a radical change with unemployment and crime rates at all-time lows. To preserve this sense of prosperity, the government 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.

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's 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. And all those who refuse to participate in The Purge are executed via hanging. (Although some, such as the film's protagonists the Sandin family, manage to hide away year after year.) Seemingly good-intentioned in its attempt to lower poverty and unemployment, The Purge only manages to reveal a twisted dystopian nation.

The Purge

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, 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 five 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 organizes a counterattack that leaves most of them dead. It is also shown that there is a Resistance growing in the meantime (with 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.

Announcements

This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the annual Purge. At the siren, all emergency services will be suspended for 12 hours. Your government thanks you for your participation.
~ Emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of The Purge.
Non-compliance with any of the aforementioned rules will result in death by hanging. Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, up to, and including Murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours. Police, fire and hospital aid will be unavailable until Thursday morning, March 22, at 7 AM, when The Purge concludes. Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America, a nation reborn.
~ Emergency broadcasting announcement of The Purge.
This is not a test. This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the Annual Purge sanctioned by the U.S. Government. Weapons of class 4 and lower have been authorized for use during the Purge. All other weapons are restricted. Government officials of ranking 10 have been granted immunity from the Purge and shall not be harmed. Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours. Police, fire, and emergency medical services will be unavailable until tomorrow morning until 7 a.m., when The Purge concludes. Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America, a nation reborn. May God be with you all.
~ Emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of The Purge.
This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the annual Purge. All crime,including murder,will be legal for 12 hours. All emergency services will be suspended. Your government thanks you for your participation.
~ Emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of The Purge in The Purge: Anarchy trailers.

Gallery

Trivia

  • 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.
  • 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.

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