V for Vendetta, by SS1 Alan Moore published in 1989, isinfamous for its themes and messages about government control, humankind’smorality, and vengeance. Set in an imagined future England controlled by thefascist Norsefire government, this story shows readers the power of standing upfor one’sSS2 rights while considering theconsequences of their actions.
Throughout the novel, the protagonist, V,commits mass destruction, murder and various acts of violence for personal vengeance,and to achieve freedom and anarchy. Freedomis “doing as you please” as defined by the novel, and anarchy is the”lack of a governing body,” as defined by Moore. This leaves thereader to wonder if V’s actions towards the Norsefire government were justifiedfor the means of freedom, anarchy, and personal vengeance against Norsefire’stotalitarian reign. An analysis of V’s actions suggeststhat the extremely violent acts he committed for personal vengeance against NorsefireDV4 SS5 are justified because theyultimately contributed to obtaining freedom from Norsefire’s oppression. Themurders V committedSS6 ,despite being violent crimes, were necessary to bring justice to victims of theLarkhill Resettlement Camp. The people who hetook vengeance in the novel (Lewis Prothero, Bishop Lilliman, and Dr. DeliaSurridge) were not innocent people; they were essential components to running theconcentration camp. Torturing V—and countless other “undesirables”—throughphysical and verbal abuse, starvation, and drugging them was wicked.
To getvengeance for the cruelty subjected to Larkhill victims, V “killed…everyone whoever worked at Larkhill Camp, one by one, over the past four years,” makingtheir deaths look like a natural occurrence. V carefully planned the deaths ofthese three essential people of Larkhill with a certain poetic justice to eachdeath: Lewis Prothero, V’s former prison guard, though not dead, was drivenmentally insane by V burning his dolls, similar to how Prothero burned peoplein the ovens. He killed Bishop Anthony Lilliman, former chaplain, HolyCommunion filled with cyanide, and V injected a poison into Delia Surridge, apathologist who injected hormones into people for experiments. These violentactions V committed for personal vengeance contributed to obtaining freedomfrom Norsefire’s oppression because essential parts to this government were nowgone, weakening their power over society. The preacher and teacher of the onlyreligion allowed in England was now dead, meaning England could no longer trustreligion and faith as deeply. The voice of Fate, that told society what wasright and wrong and censored information by only conveying what Norsefirewanted its people to know, being driven incurably in sane meant the concept offate could no longer control England as Fate’s new voice was not as effective as Prothero’s voice; one of Norsefire’s mainsources of propaganda was gone. DV8 SS9 Lastly,the only person to seem humane during this totalitarian reign actually injectedhormones and drugs into people, stating “I think I enjoyed what I did at thetime…people are stupid and evil…we deserve to be culled.
” Dr. Delia Surridge realized acknowledged herimmoral actions, and also believed she and the other Larkhill workers deservedto be those V killed. V’s actions were justified because he freed England from someof the strongest people holding the government together, and made these peopleexperience the cruelty to which they subjected innocent people.
Thedestruction of many important symbols of England,despite being violent actions, was justified because it helped weaken theamount of power Norsefire had over its’ citizens.There were 3 crucial symbols to theNorsefire government and the people of England:Parliament, the voice of Fate, and the Old Bailey; all which V destroyed. AsAdam Susan, the leader of Norsefire and England expressed to Derek Almond afterParliament’s destruction, “your incompetence has cost us our oldest symbol ofauthority and a jarring propaganda defeat…someone did the unthinkable.
Someonehurt us.” Parliament, England’s oldest and most prominent symbol of power andstrength of a nation, was used as propaganda for Norsefire by representing thepower and authority very few have over a nation. Its’destruction – SAC only needs 2 mics, stage lights, and the sound system.- A SAC member will send a laptop (must be a laptop since that’s easier forthem) up with the playlist which Stage Crew will just connect to their sound syweakenedthe Norsefire government by allowing the people of England to see that thegovernment was not as powerful as they presented themselves, and that it waspossible for a terrorist to rebel against them. Parliament’s destruction showedEngland the government’s vulnerability.
Driving Lewis Prothero, the voice ofFate in sane meant the main source of propaganda of Norsefire’s unlimitedknowledge was gone; instead of sounding strong and mysterious, the new voice ofFate was frail and very human, leading to the people of England to questiontheir government’s power and realizing their government was just human, thusflawed. Finally, V blew up Lady Justice for personal vengeance. Lady Justicesymbolizes justice and stood on the Old Bailey, England’s Central CriminalCourt. However, with the Norsefire government in power, justice is imprisoningand torturing minorities.
Thus Furthermore Lady Justice and what she stands for hasfailed V as to him. sheShe now represents the weakness and lack ofjustice in England, and how to him, anarchy is the only way of achievingfreedom. As a result, he blows her up.
V destroyed these important symbols forpersonal vengeance because what they stood for DV12 SS13 hadfailed to happenand would not help achieve true freedom, whereas anarchy would. Destroyingthese symbols, despite being very violent, was justified because it helped thepeople of England to question their government’s authority, which weakened Norsefire’scontrol over England, eventually leading to anarchy and freedom fromNorsefire’s oppressionSS14 . Finally,these SS15 violent actions are justifiablebecause they allowed Evey to overcome her fear of death. By including all ofthe elements of Larkhill in his meticulously crafted re-creation, with all the elements of theprison (fromits appearance to the way inmates were treatedSS16 ), V made this re-creation of Larkhill very realistic, usingrobots to act like human guards who interact with Evey, even though it was justa recording of V’s voice. Describing her prison cell as just, “four walls, twowindows with six bars, and one toilet with no seat, and there’s a woodenpartition, and a cot…and there’s me…and there’s a rat,” Evey endured torturethrough starvation, constantly being blindfolded, a guard shaving her head and holdingher head in toilet bowls, and abuse.
The “smallness of her cell, weight ofher chains,” and cruelty she experienced psychologically deformed her, thinkingafter spending some time in prison, “Only now I don’t mind the rat…because I’mno better.” Her only ray of hope was a letter from Valerie, the deceased Larkhillprisoner (captured for being a lesbian) in Room IV, which reminded her to keepher integrity and not admit to the crimes she committed. Experiencing thistorture staged by V was justified because it allowed SS17 Evey to overcome her fear of death;she realized dying for V’s cause of freedom was more important than living inan oppressive nation. Physically seeing the bars of the psychological prisonshe was trapped in made her finally understand true freedom. Although V’s mainpurpose of torturing Evey was to get rid of her fear of death, it also stemmedfrom personal vengeance against Norsefire.
He convinced Evey to join his causeof achieving anarchy to avenge her parents’ and lover’s death, all whom werekilled by Norsefire. V wanted Evey to join him to attract more people to hiscause, and get vengeance for the torture him and other inmates were subject to.Convincing Evey to join him also carried the motive of his cause eventuallybecoming her cause too, and carrying out the role of V once he dies, which she didIn conclusion , an analysis of V’s actions suggest that the extremely violent acts hecommitted for personal vengeance against Norsefire are justified because theyultimately contributed to obtaining freedom from Norsefire’s oppression.
V’s acts of vengeance contributed to freedom from Norsefire’soppression while bringing justice to victims of Larkhill Resettlement Camp,destroying important symbols of the English government (both past and present),and by allowing Evey to overcome her fear of death. V demonstrates how violenceis justifiable as it is sometimes the only solution.