Heaven's Gate Character Analysis

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In March of 1997, thirty-nine members of the Heaven’s Gate cult willingly committed a calm and ritualistic suicide in a hilltop mansion over a three day period that involved three groups of people. Applewhite and his followers believed that the Hale-Bopp comet was hiding an alien spacecraft and that they needed to board it in order to avoid the coming doomsday of the Earth. When this comet reached its closest distance to Earth, they drank a lethal mix of phenobarbital and vodka and laid down to die in hopes to leave their “bodily containers” to enter into the spacecraft safely. Once on the spacecraft, Applewhite and his members believed they would pass through Heaven’s Gate into a higher existence. Heaven’s Gate strongly represents and displays that the thirty-nine group members in this suicide were victims of charismatic leadership and deindividuation. Marshall Applewhite was the charismatic leader…show more content…
These components made themselves known throughout the play in various instances. For example, Abigail Williams was the charismatic leader that convinces the girls to lie about what occurs in the woods in order to protect herself. She compelled the group of girls to accuse others of witchcraft through fear tactics, fooling the other villages that she sees spirits, and that she served a God’s finger. Her actions ultimately led to mass hysteria and the death of many villagers in Salem. This charismatic leadership displayed by Abigail Williams led to deindividuation among the group of girls. These girls lost their self-restraint and awareness when they falsely accused other villagers in Salem to avoid the discovery of the events in the forest. John Proctor was the only villager in Salem that keeps his self-awareness and restraint when he tries to make it known to Salem that the girls are lying about witchcraft. However, the village turns against John Proctor and he is hung for
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