Argumentative Essay:”V for Vendetta”byJanourine OssmanMYP5VPresented toDavid NelsonHaut-lacInternational Bilingual SchoolLanguage & Literature22/01/2017To what extent has the author effectively communicated his view of “democracy” (Fairness and Development) in society through his text?The author, Alan Moore, communicates his view of democracy effectively throughout his text. He uses literature as a vehicle for political and social criticism. “V for Vendetta” investigates a hypothetical Britain under the heel of a dictatorship. In his graphic novel, the main character, V, destroys the Norsefire regime due to the fact he is against its various policies. Despite his excessive use of force, the reader desires V’s radical goals (returning London to a state of harmony and democracy) and therefore sympathizes with his plight. Accordingly, we can assume the author’s beliefs are being shared with the reader through V. His violence seems justified because it works toward a positive outcome.
Alan Moore shows a nightmarish dystopian society, he is telling the readers what they should value and preserve by using counter examples. Therefore, the novel serves as a warning.The author presents a model of social change in an extremely repressive society; people are continuously being watched by a very powerful government.
“V for Vendetta” refers to multiple historical events, including: the Cold War, the Reagan/Thatcher era’s conservative values, and most importantly, the Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot.The Cold War was still escalating, while Moore was writing “V for Vendetta”. The population feared a nuclear war caused by the race between the US and the USSR. “V for Vendetta” bases itself on the idea that this war has occurred: the Soviet Union, the US and Africa have all been destroyed.During the 1980s, while the conservatism movement was rising, Ronald Reagan (American President) and Margaret Thatcher (English Prime Minister), were universally criticized for their insensitivity towards demographic groups who “oppose traditional moral values”. Inspired by the Reagan/Thatcher era, the Norsefire regime is highly conservative, homophobic, and racist.And, finally, V’s appearance and expression are inspired by Guy Fawkes. Under his mask, he is no longer a living soul but a display of a bulletproof concept, a symbol of revolt against totalitarianism.
“V for Vendetta” explores man as the incarnation of an idea. Moore suggests that, to be like V is to set aside one’s personal motives and embody the values of anarchy. Many questions are asked: Can violence be an acceptable approach under certain circumstances? Which circumstances? Who judges and defines them?”V for Vendetta”‘s main theme examines how anarchy promotes freedom. Alan Moore’s commitment to anarchy and freedom is reflected through his graphic novel. Therefore, from Moore’s description of V (an anarchist who believes that the government infringes on human freedom), the reader realizes Moore’s belief that anarchy is the key to freedom. The graphic novel protagonist is a freedom fighter that uses elaborate terrorist acts in attempts of igniting a revolution. V’s crusade is driven by terrors survived in his past, during which he was tortured by the authority he now fights against.
His freedom has been deprived. The victims of his terror are only those who operate through their own terror. V wants to force socio-political innovation in a repressive dystopian society. His terroristic activity focuses on the population’s freedom and the overthrow of the government. In the author’s world, the Norsefire government operates through their own terror which only benefits them. It’s evident from the beginning of the graphic novel that their government is guilty of the restriction of human freedom: the population is forbidden people from proper education, is put in jail according to their sexual orientation, and even the radio broadcasting system, they are allowed to listen to, is called the “Voice of Fate”; after all, Fate is a concept that contradicts freedom.
Alan Moore demonstrates what can happen when the people are ruled by the government, instead of the government being run as a voice of the people. Alan Moore demonstrates that such things are prone to happening if the leaders stop listening to their people.From beginning to end, “V for Vendetta” progressively shows that Moore favors the freedom model suggesting that freedom involves freeing oneself from ignorance and weakness.
In order to reach this level of freedom, one needs education, discipline and hard work. According to Moore’s graphic novel, people don’t just need to free themselves from the dictatorship of their governments, but it is also necessary for them to free themselves from the prisons of their own desires. This explains why V tortures Evey for weeks; he wants to teach her how to be open-minded, to free oneself from the weakness of the desire for happiness.Throughout the graphic novel, London remains in a state of chaos.
Moore suggests that without education and training, freedom is only violence and anarchy. This raises many questions that Moore doesn’t answer, leaving the readers free to interpret their own answers.Since the beginning of “V for Vendetta”, the authors explores the powers symbols have over society. For instance, V’s Guy Fawkes mask is the only face he shows, and the reproducible symbols V leaves or draws almost wherever he goes makes it easy for the rest of the population to follow his lead. The Houses of Parliament are Norsefire’s symbols of strength and power. Consequently, V blows them up. “V for Vendetta” is based around a fight between two sets of symbols: the Norsefire austere Fascist symbols, and V’s anarchic anonymous symbols.V undermines the Norsefire government by attacking its symbols.
The English population begins to notice that the Norsefire government is a flawed government. The beauty and strength of V’s symbols lie in their anonymity. This allows each citizen to be a potential threat to the Norsefire government’s authority. The simple and anonymous symbols used by V weaken the power and influence of the regime. Although V dies, his ideas remain alive; he passes on his home, his education, and his set of symbols to Evey. Passed from one person to the next, these symbols are indestructible. In the end, Moore’s introspections on revenge and vendetta are crucial to “V for Vendetta” because they define the difference between the graphic novel protagonists (Evey and V) and its antagonists (the Norsefire government). The Norsefire government use their power and authority to achieve their own interests and desires, however, Evey and V use their power, education and training to deny their interests and personalities.
To change the country’s regime is to set aside oneself and embrace the universal ideal of freedom.The graphic novel writer wanted his ideas to make an impact, and he found it peculiar that his idle fantasy did in fact intrude on the regular world. He recognizes the parallels between the dystopian novel and the world today.
For instance, Moore’s novel predicted the security cameras on the city streets. His graphic novel also seems to anticipate the technology-based plans that has made certain groups such major agents of protest. The reason V’s rebellion against the state is ultimately successful is that the state depends on a centralised computer system which he has been able to successfully hack. The message of the novel is that we must always strive for freedom, even if that freedom is dangerous. The symbols used in the graphic novel showcase the importance of the voice of the people.
The mysterious entity, frequently and repeatedly evoked by Alan Moore, is the people.