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 ultimate goals (returning his world to a state of more democratized freedom) and therefore sympathizes with his plight. Accordingly, we can assume the author’s beliefs are being shared with the reader through V.
His actions seem justified because it all works toward a positive human benefit. 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. Beneath his mask, he ceases to become a person but a manifestation of a concept, a symbol of protest against government tyranny. V For Vendetta explores man as the embodiment of an idea.
Moore suggests that, to be V is to put aside one’s personal motives altogether and embody the ideals of anarchy. Many questions are raised: Can violence be a moral avenue under certain circumstances? Which circumstances? Who judges and defines them?V for Vendetta’s main theme examines how anarchy promotes freedom. The graphic novel’s plot reflects Alan Moore’s commitment to freedom. 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 motivation is driven by the terrors of his past, during which he was imprisoned and tortured by those he fights against.
His freedom has been deprived. Risen under a new persona, the target of his terror is limited to those who operate through their own type of terror. V wants to force socio-political change in a dystopian society. The focus of his terroristic activity is the population’s freedom and the overthrow of the government. In the author’s world, the Norsefire government operates with its own form of terrorism which only benefits them. It’s evident from the beginning of the graphic novel that their government is responsible for 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. It isn’t just a matter of “doing as you please”. 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 meditations 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 relies upon a centralised computer network which he has been able to successfully hack. 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.