V for Vendetta, published in 1990 by Alan Moore, isa graphic novel set in a future version of England taken over by fascism. The fascismin 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 everyonein it, such as installing concentration camps to round up certain types ofpeople and putting curfew times in place. It takes for one individual, calledV, to rebel against the government for the sake of freedom/liberty and anarchy,which is the ability for an individual to choose their own decisions without authoritytelling them otherwise. V commits serious acts of terror against the fascistgovernment so he can liberate the people in England from the crutches offascism.
The novel, V for Vendetta suggests that government cannot providefreedom, and that freedom can only be achieved when government is ignored or ceasesto exist. Firstly,the government does not live up to their promises about freedom. In chapterfive of the first third of the book, V talks to the statue of liberty, or MadamJustice as V calls it, and essentially talks to himself. Within this talk, Vstates that he does not believe in liberty, and decides to follow anarchy as hesays this quote in his talk to the statue of liberty: “She has taught me that justiceis meaningless without freedom. She is honest, she makes no promises and breaksnone.” (Moore, 1990, 41). The message this quote is trying to convey isthat politicians often make promises in their political campaigns that theylater not keep, often pertaining to giving their citizens more rights, morefreedom and justice. So when they get elected, they forget what they say duringtheir political campaign and thus no progress for freedom happens.
Since anarchymeans the lack of a government, this means that there is no one to lie and noone to make promises for the sake of anarchy. Secondly,restricting freedom to prevent bad decision making only leads to acts of terror.When the reader gets formally introduced to the dictator, Adam Susan, Susangives a full speech of his goals and ideals for the country of England. In thisspeech, Adam Susan explicitly states multiple times within this speech that hedoes not believe in individual freedom, such as in this quote: “I will nothear talk about freedom, I will not hear talk about individual liberty. Theyare luxuries, I do not believe in luxuries…The war put the paid on luxury. Thewar put paid on freedom.
” (Moore, 1990, 37). Here, the dictator saysthat freedom is just a luxury, implying that freedom is expensive and that itis unaffordable, and uses the war as the reason as for why there cannot befreedom. The expense of freedom is the cost of bad decision making on thecitizen’s end, so Adam Susan wants to protect his people from making baddecisions, only for him to be bit by the costs of reconstructing, wheneversomeone such as V, commits an act of terror for the sake of other people’sfreedom.
This happens to be ironic because the dictator enforced the idea offascism onto his country to protect citizens from facing the costs of their baddecisions, only for death toll hikes and the expense of reconstructing to occurdue to the lack of freedom. “The only freedom left to my people is the freedom tostarve, the freedom to die, the freedom to live in a world of chaos. Should Iallow them that freedom? I think not. I think not.” (Moore, 1990, 38). Thisquote only bolsters the fact that Adam Susan wants to protect the people frommaking bad decisions, and that restricting choices only encourages terror actsto occur.
Lastly,freedom can be acquired when government is ignored or have less of a grasp oncertain areas. Eric Finch is a recurring character within the novel, being apolice officer for the Norsefire government who often investigates terroristacts V has committed throughout the book. In the last third of the book, Finchdrives off to a former concentration camp in search of V and decides to intakeLSD. After taking in the drug, he starts hallucinating and then realizes howmuch he does not like his job, and starts questioning himself. “We treatedyou so badly, all the hateful things he printed, did, and said…but please.
Please don’t despise us” (Moore, 1990, 213). Finch starts hallucinatingabout the friends he had, and he realizes how badly the Norsefire party and thepolice treated them just cause of their sexuality and takes the blame for it.Finch starts questioning even more, and says: “I look at this pattern, butwhere are the answers? Who imprisoned me here? Who keeps me here? Who canrelease 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 policeforce and does his work by himself, after realizing that it was his own freedomto choose the decision of working under the government, which ironically endsup giving all his freedom away. This signifies the moment of freedom found whenlaw cannot reach and constrict an individual’s actions.
The novel V for Vendetta states that liberty can only be acquired with alack of government in place. Be it by simply ignoring the government