Being based in the United States of America, The Purge is a movie that describes how the legalization of crime and violence in America is used to lower the crime-rates, unemployment rate, and social unrest by giving the citizens a day to release all their built up anger and aggression in order to be better citizens for the rest of the year. This idea of having no laws in place leads to chaos ensuing among the citizens, and everyone fends for themselves. For example, in the movie, wealthy people such as the Sandins have high-end security systems which protects the family from the outside world where all the chaos is taking place, and they also have many security cameras which allows them to see what is happening in their external environment. Because not everyone can afford these security systems, they must fight for their lives till the end of the purge when law is reestablished. Having read many dystopian novels such as 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and Animal Farm, the film is a great example of a dystopian society because it shows that class differences between the rich and poor can lead to the less wealthy individuals feeling powerless to potential purgers and suffer death because of it and demonstrates that violence that is used by potential purgers can wreak havoc in people’s lives and even cause them to doubt one another. Oppression is a key factor to what makes dystopian novels dystopian in the first place, and in Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression,” she mentions that both powerlessness and violence are key components of oppression. In this blog, I hope to go deeper into how the movie shows these social class differences that can lead one to feel helpless through both technological advancements of the security systems and violence that is used to prevent the poor from climbing the ladder themselves.
In the film, the Sandins and their neighborhood all have this high-tech security system that barricades their houses from the outside world while the purge is going on in the external environment. From this, one can see that the wealthy are living lavishly and have an advantage over the poor because those who can not afford the security systems will most likely die defending themselves from potential purgers or live long enough until the purge ends and see the mass amount violence that occurred in the nation. On the other hand, people who cannot afford these luxuries like the African American individual who is running from potential purgers must fight for their lives or run and hide in order to see another day. Without the proper technology to fend off invaders, less fortunate people like the African American stranger will become victim to murder and violence that the purge allows people to perform. Additionally, because these individuals do not have enough money, they can not afford rifles and must resort to guns such as pistols in order to fend off the purgers with their automatic weapons. Social class oppression is still prevalent today as the wealth gap continuously increases each year. Overall, The Purge is a great example that demonstrates how one social class.uses its source of wealth to have an advantage over another group, and as a result, this group is oppressed and must suffer the violence and chaos the purge brings with it.
In addition to the social class differences that bring about oppression, violence is a key way that purgers let out their anger in order to prevent them from allowing this aggression to build up and get the best of them. Although this is what the New Founding Fathers claim the purge allows people to accomplish, I believe that they actually desire for the poor to fight amongst themselves and allow for the wealthy to remain in power. If the poor are to kill one another during the purge, there would be less impoverished people on the streets and less competition for wealthy individuals in the future. As a result, events like the purge further allow for the wealthy to prosper because they can afford the necessary weapons and take the proper security measures in order to defend themselves, and as a result, the wealthy can continue to live their lavish lives after the purge concludes. Although the security system does fail in the end due to the purgers ramming in the door, it buys the family enough time to survive and allow the purge to come to an end. It is because of this social class difference that violence comes about and makes everyone want to turn against each other. Overall, violence is a huge factor in the movie that is used to further demonstrate social class differences and demonstrates how The Purge is very dystopian because of this Hobbesian Jungle like state.
Whether its through the advanced technology of the security system or violence that the purge brings about, the movie demonstrates that social class differences cause one group to be more dominant than the other and allows the more wealthy to prosper. Because of this type of oppression, The Purge can be considered a dystopian film and is a great example of a crime dystopia that many people love.