V They are luxuries, I do not believe

            V for Vendetta, published in 1990 by Alan Moore, is a graphic novel set
in a future version of England taken over by fascism. The fascism in the book is
similar in cruelty of Nazi Germany in World War II, with the dictator, Adam
Susan, using all of his power to “help” the country by oppressing everyone in
it, such as installing concentration camps to round up certain groups of people
and putting curfew times in place. It takes for one individual, called V, to
rebel against the government for the sake of freedom/liberty with anarchy,
which is the ability for an individual to decide their own life without authority
directing otherwise. V commits serious acts of terror against the fascist
government, to show the fascist government the consequences of oppression. The
novel, V for Vendetta suggests that a government attempting to control the freedom
of individuals can only limit society’s growth.

 

            Firstly,
limiting choices is a great way to risk the lives of the citizens. When the
reader gets formally introduced to the dictator, Adam Susan, Susan gives a full
speech of his goals and ideals for the country of England. In this speech, Adam
Susan explicitly states multiple times within this speech that he does not
believe in individual freedom, such as in this quote: “I will not
hear talk about freedom, I will not hear talk about individual liberty. They
are luxuries, I do not believe in luxuries…The war put the paid on luxury. The
war put paid on freedom.” (Moore, 1990, 37). Here,
the dictator says that freedom is just an expensive luxury, implying that the expense
of freedom is the cost of bad decision making of everyone else, from Adam Susan’s
point of view, prompting Adam Susan to try control his people’s freedom. This
only leaves him to be bit cold-handed, whenever someone such as V, commits an
act of terror for the sake of other people’s freedom. This happens to be ironic
because the dictator enforced the idea of fascism onto his country to protect
citizens from facing the costs of their supposedly bad decisions, only for death
toll hikes and terrorism to occur due to the lack of freedom, which in itself
is a bad decision by the government. In addition, “The only
freedom left to my people is the freedom to starve, the freedom to die, the
freedom to live in a world of chaos. Should I allow them that freedom? I think
not. I think not.” (Moore, 1990, 38). This quote only bolsters
the fact that Adam Susan wants to protect the people from making bad decisions,
and that restricting choices only encourages terror acts to occur as mentioned
beforehand. Ironically, by not allowing his citizens to live in a world of
chaos, Adam Susan ends up setting himself up for terrorist attacks by V, which
is pretty chaotic. All in all, when the government tries to restrict freedom,
they end up leaving their citizens at risk from a rebel who has no
restrictions.

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            In
chapter five of the first third of the book, the main character V talks to the
statue of liberty, or Madam Justice as V calls it, and is essentially talking
to himself. Within this talk, V states that he decides to follow anarchy as “She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is
honest, she makes no promises and breaks none.” (Moore, 1990, 41). The message this quote is trying to convey is that politicians often create
promises in their political campaigns that they later not keep, often
pertaining to giving their citizens more rights, more freedom and justice. So when
they get elected, they do not fulfill anything they said during their campaign.
Since anarchy means the lack of a government, this means that there is no one
to lie and no one to make promises for the sake of anarchy. Furthermore, “Anarchy wears two faces, both creator and destroyer. Thus
destroyers topple empires, make a canvas of clean rubble where creators then
can build a better world.” (Moore, 1990, 248). This is the
basis of V’s motives, destroy the Adam Susan and the Norsefire party to then
try create a new, improved, world. Unlike the fascist party who believes
controlling the freedom of everybody will create a better, more rigid world,
and thus are only able to limit how far society can go with such restrictions,
V believes that anarchy will help create a better world that uses the freedom
of everybody, which allows for society to expand and grow once settled.

 

            Lastly,
the government is only able to control freedom when an individual gives it away.
This happens with Eric Finch, a recurring character within the novel, being a
police officer working for the Norsefire government, and is often involved with
investigating V’s terrorist attacks. In the last third of the book, Finch
drives off to a former concentration camp in search of V and decides to intake
LSD which he found on the ground. After taking in the drug, he starts
hallucinating and then realizes how much he does not like his job, and starts questioning
his decisions. “I look at this pattern, but where are the
answers? Who imprisoned me here? Who keeps me here? Who can release me? Who’s
controlling and constraining my life, except…me? I…I’m free.” (Moore, 1990, 215). This is when Finch starts to abandon the police force and does his work
by himself, after realizing that it was his own freedom to choose the decision
of working under the government, which ironically ends up giving all his freedom
away. This signifies the moment of freedom found when law cannot constrict an
individual’s actions. Next, there is Valerie, a minor character that got placed
in the torture camp for being a lesbian. She wrote a biography of her life
within her cell before she was killed, and wrote this: “…But it was my
integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but
it’s all we have left in this place.” (Moore, 1990, 156). This quote in particular tells the reader about how Valerie held onto
her pride despite society’s and the government’s negative views on
homosexuality. In particular, it conveys the message that no matter how harsh someone
may be on someone’s decisions, that only the person themselves can choose how
they want to live their life. Overall, even if the government has the power decide
the fate of an individual, they cannot control the actions of one, no matter
how convincing or intimidating they may be.

 

The message that V for Vendetta implies is that the
growth of society can be hindered when the government tries to control each
individual’s decisions. 

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