V that they are doing things like implementing curfews

V for Vendetta is the tale of a “terrorist” who is trying to take down the fascist Great
Britain. He, after being experimented on at Lark Hill, a camp where people were sent to endure
biological testing so that the government could find new ways of biological warfare, spent
twenty years of his life trying to devising a plan to take down the fascist government. It starts on
a November 5th, when he blows up the old Bailey, and continues throughout the next year to
November 5th, when he plans to blow up Parliament, all the while becoming more entwined into
his plan is Evey Hammond, whom he saved from the Fingermen at the beginning of the movie.
As the year progresses the people in power, including Suttler, Creedy, and Inspector Finch get
more and more antsy to catch him, to no avail. V is a very dynamic character who may or may
not deserve the title of “terrorist”. He is an anarchist, a man of vigilante justice, and a being who
values freedom of thought, expression, and love.
The kind of society that is in place in V for Vendetta is a society where no one has
freedom. Under the rule of a fascist government ones every move is monitored. There is a band
of secret police that are called “The fingermen” who are similar to the thought Police in 1984.
They also drive around and listen in on peoples conversations. There is a curfew in place so no
one can walk about after a certain time or they will be arrested by the fingermen. The
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government functions under the ruse that they are doing things like implementing curfews for the
protection of the people, that it is in their best interests. Also, something to be noted is when
something happens, like the explosion of the Bailey near the beginning of the movie, that was
not planned by the people in power and surprised them they end up spinning into something that
they planned so the public does not think them to be any less than all knowing. In this case, they
called it an “emergency demolition” so that they are not seen as less than omnipotent.
“First and foremost, it must be stressed that anarchism is not lawlessness. While anomie
means “without rules,” anarchy means “without rulers.” Further, the difference between leaders
and rulers must be noted: While leaders may be chosen by an individual and abandoned at will
by the same individual without the consent of anyone else, rulers are those specific kinds of
leaders whom are imposed or whom impose themselves upon non-consenting subjects” (“Is v
an,” ). V is not a total anarchist. While his actions may be seen at face value as that of an
anarchist, it is not so much the average definition of anarchy, being lawlessness in the absence of
a government, but his desire is more of a “utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete
freedom without government” (“Anarchy,” ). His desire is that people have the ability to think
and live for themselves, to listen to music, to look at art, to love, much like that of Winston in
1984.
In this type of society music and art are not allowed. These types of items promote one to
develop their own thoughts and opinions, and that is discouraged, and sometimes simply totally
forbidden. V has lots of art in his house. He had “reclaimed” the art back from their government.
When Evey arrives she is stunned at the how much beautiful art is scattered around his home
simply because of how much trouble it could get him in. However, being a man of vigilante
justice who is about to try to take down the entire governmental institution he does not feel that a
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few pieces of art is going to be the thing that gets him in trouble. He also has a jukebox in which
he plays classic music. This is forbidden to citizens. The same thing takes place in 1984. Art,
music, and anything creative or artistic in any way is forbidden because it creates and promotes
OwnLife, which poses a threat to the government. V, however, being the rebel that he is, pays no
mind to this rule. If he wants to have art and music in his home he will, no matter what he has to
do to attain it. Deitrich, the friend of Evey, also has art in his home. He even has a copy of the
Quran. So, while V may not be the only one with art in his home, he seems to be the only one
who can truly get away with it, as the Quran in Deitrich’s house leads to his eventual murder.
V can see the government for what they really are. He has studied it ever since he
escaped from lark hill and has devoted twenty years of his life to finding a way to take it down,
Guy Fawkes style. He has devoted his time to sitting in his home and studying its workings, so
much so that when he begins to implement his plan Suttler believes he must have an informer
because he knows their inner workings so well. In the movie, V tells the viewer the story of what
really happened at lark hill. It was a camp where people were sent and then infected in an
attempt of the people in power to find a new way to wage biological warfare. The majority of the
“patients” to go through did not prove to be affective at getting them to that means. However,
there was one patient who proved useful, and that was V. There was then an explosion and in the
wake emerged something, someone, that seemed superhuman, it was V. After that the
government used the biological warfare to kill at least 100,000 people, then blaming it on
religious extremists. V then decided he was going to take down this fascist government. It was
not necessarily just because of the things that they did to him, but because of the things they do
to everyone, the lack of freedoms, the fascism, the total control. He knows that the masses do not
like the way things are, and that the only reason they do no act is because they are scared that
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they will be acting alone. He realizes that the masses need hope, they need something, someone,
to believe in, and then they will act.
V is a man of vigilante justice. One may be reminded of Batman, or any superhero. He
takes justice into his own hands and does what he thinks is right. This is evident from the very
beginning when he saves Evey from being raped by the corrupt Fingermen. Some leave “justice”
to the authorities, however, in a society where the “authorities” are a major part of the problem
there is not much else to do except take it into your own hands, especially when you have the
skill set and knowledge that V does.
One may ask is V a terrorist? He is constantly deemed a terrorist throughout the movie by
the people in power so that the citizens of England realize he is bad, he is a threat, and that the
government, as always, is good and right. This is exactly what can be expected from the fascist
government of England during this time. Everything that happens that was not planned by them
is construed as either an accident, or unimaginably evil. While on one hand he is a terrorist
because he uses certain acts to put fear into people, such as the explosions of the Bailey and
Parliament, he also is instilling hope into people. He is instilling hope in the masses as
exemplified by how many people show up at the end wearing the Guy Fawkes masks. Also, he
never really killed any civilians, which is also a characteristic of terrorism. The only people he
kills are government agents and other people in power.
In 1984, Winston takes on a totally different role than V does. He is not so much a
vigilante, a terrorist, or an anarchist, he is simply his own man. His goal is not so much to take
down the entire government. He just wants to think for himself, to go where he wants to go and
see who he wants to see. He is much more a passive protagonist than V. While he does wish that
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the government would be taken down, and even joins the fake resistance, he is not an integral
part in the taking down of the government in power at the time. The major two reasons that V is
successful in taking down the government and Winston does not is that Winston is that passive
character. Perhaps it is simply his personality, perhaps it is simply because his goals are not that
of V’s, but also that the government in V for Vendetta differs so much from the one in 1984. In
1984 the Party has all of their loose ends tied up. The people in power have taken the time to
acknowledge the things that make a government weak and vulnerable. When Winston is reading
the book there is an entire chapter devoted to this very subject. The book explicitly says that the
reason many governments fail is because they fail to address the fact that there are certain things
that will create cracks in a government. Ultimately that is why V is able to implement his plan
successfully. The government in V for Vendetta is nowhere even near being as omnipotent as the
one in 1984. The surveillance is not as comprehensive, the Fingermen are not as active, and all in
all there is marginally more freedom in this society than the one in 1984. All of these aspects
allow the slow infiltration of the government. It is not necessarily easy, but after a careful twenty
years worth of planning V is more than prepared for what he wanted to do.
In the end, V is very successful at attaining his goals. Each time he implements a part of
his plan it goes exactly as he was expecting. V is a character with amazing depth. The entire
movie he is thinking twenty steps ahead of the authorities, and that is a large part of his success.
He accounts for all possibilities, and is able to get in, do what he wants, and get out completely
and utterly undetected. He seems to be ruthless, but that is not true. He has an amazing capacity
for love, the love of Evey, the love of music, art, freedom. V has a complexity of character that
makes the story fascinatingly profound. The message of the novel is that we must always strive for freedom, even if that freedom is dangerous.