Some time ago, I was contacted by Jared Cox, who wished to use my Musings as a source for an english paper he was writing about V for Vendetta .
Flattered, I was more than happy to "let" him quote me, but agreed only on the condition that he send me the final product when he finished. In April of 2000, Jared sent me his essay.
I found it very intriguing to read his views of the novel and its themes in relation to the paper he wrote. Since he was gracious enough to share his views with me, I would like to share his views with you. I present to you Jared's paper in its entirety, without comment.
The book V for Vendetta
has many different debatable topics. One of these debatable topics would be, who is "V"? Is he freedom or totalitarianism? Is he good or is he evil? "V" has many complex and interesting sides to his character. His constant display of rebellion exhibits his lack of respect for the current government system. The question of whether or not he is freedom is apparent further on in the book. His actions of sabotage and murder have a reason, a connection, and a purpose. But what are they? Society sees no hope or chance at freedom, and "V" gives them this hope, a feeling that it is possible, that freedom can be obtained. Freedom is limited by "V", and he knows this. He is just one piece of the puzzle he is the destroyer. There must be another form of freedom, a creator that will rebuild a world where people can live their dreams. "V" most certainly is good; he is trying to revive these dormant attitudes and feelings of society. He is an inspirer, he is a leader, he is freedom, and he is goodness in one.
The character "V" has a mysterious past about which no one is quite sure. He was admitted to Larkhill Resettlement Camp and underwent medical testing. In this period of testing he displayed no physiological characteristics like the other subjects had. Rather, Dr. Delia Anne diagnosed him with side effects that were consistent with schizophrenia. His actions toward the characters are baffling and unbelievable. He saves Evey, a young prostitute, from being gang raped by a Vice Detail. He kills numerous people from his past without regret. And in the end, he allows Mr. Finch to kill him. But his relationship with Evey is the most confusing and bewildering of all. During the first two books, Evey is still young, immature, and unsure of her life or even her future. "V" is educating Evey and helping her through her most challenging times. The reader is left wondering what "V's" intentions or plans for her are? Why does he care about this prostitute? Why does he waste all his time educating and torturing her? Through all these time consuming actions "V" never loses track of his goal. This goal is one of the mysteries of "V." His goal isn't ever written down, but more implied by his actions and his attitude toward the government. His goal is freedom. He exists for no other purpose than for freedom. And since freedom is all consuming and all-important, he can't be defeated. He is an idea, a craving, and those can never be destroyed or killed. As soon as the reader starts to understand that it/he can't be destroyed, "V" dies.
Or does he? Can the pursuit of freedom ever be killed? This proves to be the most surprising part of the whole book. If "V" is freedom and goodness, how can he die? This is when his comment comes into mind, "Anarchy wears two faces, both creator and destroyer" (Lloyd and Moore 222). The young timid girl has grown and has been educated by this symbol of freedom. She now knows what "V" has been teaching and helping, for "V" was the destroyer of totalitarianism, and now Evey must become the creator that will build this world of freedom. She demonstrates compassion and a dislike of killing. She is the future of the nation. Some people might believe that the idea of "V" being an it, rather than a he, is absurd. To put that much thought and analysis into a simple comic book does seem a little overboard. I argue "V" is both an it and a he. The book states that there was a "man" in room 5. He also describes to Evey his feelings for the woman that was next to him in Larkhill. And we all know that freedom doesn't have feelings and isn't sent to jail. Or is it? The downside to this argument is that this novel displays much more than what most people attribute to a comic. The book plays heavily on symbolism and interpretation. You must read it critically and judge every action of each of the characters. The countless times Moore uses symbolism and dialogue to diversify the story amazes me beyond belief. It causes the reader to read and reread a lot of his writing. "V" is anything but ordinary. It/he is above justice. He is freedom, and only with freedom comes justice. Through "V's" constant destruction of justice buildings the author is trying to get across that freedom cannot exist in a world judged by injustice. Freedom creates justice; so without freedom, you have no true justice, only pretenders. Freedom "prevails."
"V" can be nothing other than freedom. He/it sacrifices himself for freedom to grow so that it/she can create a better world. Take the United States's past. We also had to destroy and kill to obtain our freedom. "It takes harsh and tough decisions to become free. We still now are constantly battling to hold onto freedom. It illustrates V's vision of a chaotic world, but V believes that out of the chaos will come order"(Wald 196). "V" embodies this mentality of struggle and devotion. His disregard of his own life demonstrates that he is more than man; he is a symbol, a symbol of the on going struggle to obtain freedom. He is the unrelenting pursuit of freedom and is constantly struggling for the world's cleansing of fascist governments. "He is the random principle, the proverbial fly in the ointment" (Klein). He is the thorn in this fascist government. He/it is freedom
Lloyd, David, and Alan Moore. V for Vendetta. United Kingdom: DC Comics, 1982-83,1988.
Klein, Craig."The V for Vendetta Shrine" Editorial.
September-November, 1997. Online posting. Geocities.
28 March 2000 http://www.shadowgalaxy.net/Vendetta/analysis.html.
Wald, David. "V for Vendetta annotations"
April 27, 1994. Online posting. index.lcs.mit.edu.
28 March 2000 ftp://theory.lcs.mit.edu/pub/people/wald/v-for-vendetta/v-for-vendetta.1