V for Vendetta
Personal Freedom, Social Change, and False Justice
V For Vendetta is a fictional story based on a government of the future which has taken total control over its subjects, taking every ounce of power from the people`s control. Adam Sutler, the high chancellor, is the leader in charge who is more of a dictator in the story because he suppresses his own people and takes away their free will by using fear and violence to keep them in check. He is an imperialist who in his ascent to power, rounded up individuals whom he considered to be less than pure in prison camps which he used for testing his deadly virus. His tests were successful, and he released the gas on his own people putting the nation in a state of instability. Since the people were distracted by the events, they turned to Sutler to save them from the menace but he, in turn, took advantage and enslaved them all. V knows and sees that the state does not act in the best interests of the people; he does what he can to rid the country of the various negative elements. In this regard, V’s anarchy is justifiable because it is aimed at the common good and done in the search for freedom.
Freedom is the prominent theme in V for Vendetta, in comparison to Anarchy. V calls himself an Anarchist. He is of the view that all authority stemming from the governmental power is flawed since it limits the freedom of the people. His actions throughout the novel demonstrate his commitment to uphold freedom.
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He notes that “Equality and freedom are not luxuries to lightly cast aside. Without them, the order cannot long endure before approaching depths beyond imagining” (Moore and Lloyd 199). V is aware of the influence of fear in the ultimate goal for liberation. He helps Evey achieve her own freedom from this negative element. In his point of view, he recognizes that the country is responsible for the current state of affairs, but he does not fall short of blaming the people too. V helps Evey break free of her limited mindset. He liberates her thoughts and makes her see his point of view. He says to Evey after her re-emergence from the state that he had kept her that, “You have no fear anymore, you are completely free” (Moore and Lloyd, 110). By this, V meant freeing oneself from ignorance, by gaining knowledge that liberates the mind and thoughts. The Norsefire government is actively involved in restricting the people`s freedom. It uses a radio broadcasting station known as the “Voice of Fate.” Fate is the direct opposite of freedom. V is fighting to be liberated from his past. He says that “With anarchy comes an age of Ordnung, of true order, which is to say voluntary order” (Moore and Lloyd 195).
V is an active leader who advocates for social change in addition to being an “advocate” for justice. He takes things in his control, and he has his own set of ideas that he is already putting in place. He does what he feels he is supposed to do but leaves it up to the people whom he is fighting for to see and make their own choice towards change for the better. He is not an idealist who forces his will on the people. V`s outright rejection of the leader and the ruling class provides a way for progress or individual and social development. The idea of a system that promotes social and individual progress is encapsulated in his speech to the people during his hijacking of a major broadcasting network. He says that “we`ve offered you promotion time and time again and each time you`ve turned us down” (Moore and Lloyd 114). In V`s account, individuals have accepted the moral and social conventions imposed by the Norsefire party, leading to a loss of individuality, thus reducing their development capacity in a social, political, cultural and moral way. V supports the post-modern concept of anarchism by challenging the notion of the normal individual. He blames the normal individuals for being mostly accountable for the rise of the authoritarianism. In the private television broadcast, V says, “we`ve had a string of embezzlers, frauds. Liars/ and lunatics are making a string of catastrophic decisions,” (Moore and Lloyd 116). He is adamant that the people caused themselves problems by appointing the corrupt leaders who end up pursuing their own selfish interests and gains. Before his death, after being shot by finch, V explains to Evey that, “this country is not saved … but all of its old beliefs have come to rubble, and from the rubble, we may build…..” (Moore and Lloyd, 70). The statement demonstrates V is proud of the change and that they can start afresh. He was an individual who advocated for justice to be done, looking at the fact that he was vengeful because of what was done to him as an innocent individual and his advocacy for the end of bad leadership.
False justice is also evident in the novel. V behaves in certain scenarios like the savior, but he uses very unsavory ways to achieve his objective. In their initial encounter, Evey asks him, “Who are you?” and he answers that “I am the king of the twentieth century……the bogeyman. The villain, the black sheep of the family” (Moore and Lloyd 13). V shows his own rejection of the social and moral obligations. He has been so afraid to be his real self. In this regard, he admits to Evey that it came to cost him a lot including the very thing that makes him up, himself and his innate nature. He puts it very clear that “you wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.” He maintains that people need to be clever in their reasoning and acts because the leaders need to be accountable and care about the common good and welfare of their people. When Evey questions him about his violent and brutal methods, he explains that it is simply a matter of action and reaction. During v`s encounter with Delia Surridge, for the role that she had played in experiments at Larkhill, she is aware that he had come to take her life. She says that “I wasn`t sure that you were the terrorist, not until I saw the rose. What a coincidence that I should be given it today” (Moore and Lloyd 74). In response to this, V states that “there is no coincidence Delia. Only the illusion of coincidence. I have another rose for you” (Moore and Lloyd 74). V was driven by his vengeful spirit even if he was a freedom fighter. This aspect made his cause seem negative because instead of embracing a good way to advance his cause, which was just and noble, he opted to go the negative way and became some sort of villain in that manner. When Finch eventually shoots V, he leans forward and asks him, “Do you think to kill me? There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There`s only an idea; ideas are bulletproof” (Moore and Lloyd 236). V was relaying to Finch the fact that he had already spread the idea of Freedom and doing away with the government to very many individuals that killing him made no difference. Things were already set in motion. The idea was already in the hearts and minds of many individuals, and it would be impossible to stop it.
In conclusion, V and other characters throughout the book show different elements of Personal Freedom, Social Change, and false justice. He had a true sense of individuality, but all through the story, he was driven by his vengeful spirit. His anarchic point of view advocated for true social development and demanded freedom, justice, and free speech. He accomplished this by speaking and acting against the aristocratic nature of leadership and not conforming to what it held to be its law. He took control of an important broadcasting network to urge the people to see things in a different light, to stand for the ideals and rights he felt should not be taken away from them for any reason whatsoever. In the end, his diversified view proved to stand for the ideals of freedom, social change, and justice in general.
Moore, Alan and David Lloyd. V for Vendetta, New York, DC Comics. 1990.
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