THE WITCH: Pride and Destruction | FCC 116

In THE WITCH, William and his family are exiled from their community and are forced to make a life for themselves in the wilderness all because of William’s pride. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more in this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
  • 00:04:13 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:26:04 – Christian Themes in THE WITCH with guest Jonathan Tucker
  • 01:00:24 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:04:40 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:08:10 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:11:07 – Upcoming

The Witch, Pride, and Destruction

The 1630s in New England were tumultuous times. The Puritans were one of the several religious groups who left Europe in search of a new land free from corruption. They structured their communities to hopefully reflect the heavenly land after which they sought. They strove to be “pure” and righteous before God. Part of maintaining that purity meant casting out sin and those who committed it.

We don’t know exactly why William and his family are banished from the community. William’s accusers make it clear that it has something to do with his pride, but we aren’t given any other details. Just before he leaves, however, William makes it known that he believes that his accusers are the false Christians and not him. This is only a glimpse into how destructive the sin of pride can be.

This image from THE WITCH shows William and his family praying around the dinner table.

From this moment on, the family descends into madness. Everyone blames Thomasin, the daughter caught in the middle of the greater family drama, for losing the infant Samuel. We as the audience know that it was the Witch of the Wood from the very beginning, but we have to watch as Thomasin tries and fails to convince her family that she is, in fact, blameless. What’s worse is that Thomasin mistakingly jokes about being the Witch, thus destroying her own credibility.

This family, however, isn’t just at the mercy of the Witch of the Wood. They are each other’s own antagonists. William lets his children either lie for or take the blame for his pride. Katherine, the mother, is quick to wrath and anger. Caleb is growing into adolescence and is dealing with his own lustful thoughts. Jonas and Mercy, the young twins, are disobedient to their parents and reckless in their jeering humor. It seems that everyone in the family has a sin problem except for Thomasin.

This image from THE WITCH shows Anya Taylor-Joy as Thomasin.

Thomasin’s blamelessness is perhaps the only reason she is the only one left of William’s family after everything is said and done. Without going into detail, the family literally tears itself apart. And Thomasin, once accused of being a witch, eventually signs her life over to the Devil. He’s the only one that ever guided her hand in anything anyway, right?

Robert Eggers, the originator and director of this film, set out to recreate the nightmares with which he had grown up as a young boy in the New England area. He wanted to instill within his audiences the same fears that would have circulated within those early Puritan communities as well as his own neighborhood. Whether he knows it or not, he has also given us a pristine image of how pride leads to destruction and how we as people can be just as vile to each other as any witch or devil.


Key Text

Proverbs 16:18 YLT

Before destruction [is] pride, And before stumbling–a haughty spirit.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a good way to use stories to soften peoples' hearts. Find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever.
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