V of Nazi Germany in World War II, with

            V for Vendetta, published in 1990 by Alan Moore, is a graphic novel set
in a future version of England taken over by fascism. The fascism in 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 everyone in it,
such as installing concentration camps to round up certain types of people and
putting curfew times in place. It takes for one individual, called V, 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 authority
telling them otherwise. V commits serious acts of terror against the fascist
government so he can liberate the people in England from the crutches of
fascism. The novel, V for Vendetta suggests that government cannot provide
freedom, and that freedom can only be achieved when government is ignored or ceases
to exist.

 

            Firstly,
the government does not live up to their promises about freedom. In chapter
five of the first third of the book, V talks to the statue of liberty, or Madam
Justice as V calls it, and essentially talks to himself. Within this talk, V
states that he does not believe in liberty, and decides to follow anarchy as he
says this quote in his talk to the statue of liberty: “She has taught me that justice
is meaningless without freedom. She is honest, she makes no promises and breaks
none.” (Moore, 1990, 41). The message this quote is trying to convey is
that politicians often make promises in their political campaigns that they
later not keep, often pertaining to giving their citizens more rights, more
freedom and justice. So when they get elected, they forget what they say during
their political campaign and thus no progress for freedom happens. Since anarchy
means the lack of a government, this means that there is no one to lie and no
one to make promises for the sake of anarchy.

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            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, Susan
gives a full speech of his goals and ideals for the country of England. In this
speech, Adam Susan explicitly states multiple times within this speech that he
does not believe in individual freedom, such as in this quote: “I will not
hear talk about freedom, I will not hear talk about individual liberty. They
are luxuries, I do not believe in luxuries…The war put the paid on luxury. The
war put paid on freedom.” (Moore, 1990, 37). Here, the dictator says
that freedom is just a luxury, implying that freedom is expensive and that it
is unaffordable, and uses the war as the reason as for why there cannot be
freedom. The expense of freedom is the cost of bad decision making on the
citizen’s end, so Adam Susan wants to protect his people from making bad
decisions, only for him to be bit by the costs of reconstructing, whenever
someone like V, commits an act of terror for the sake of other people’s freedom.
This happens to be ironic because the dictator enforced the idea of fascism
onto his country to protect citizens from facing the costs of their bad
decisions, only for death toll hikes and the expense of reconstructing to occur
due to the lack of freedom. “The only freedom left to my people is the freedom to
starve, the freedom to die, the freedom to live in a world of chaos. Should I
allow them that freedom? I think not. I think not.” (Moore, 1990, 38). This
quote only bolsters the fact that Adam Susan wants to protect the people from
making bad decisions, and that restricting choices only encourages terror acts
to occur.

 

            Lastly,
freedom can be acquired when government is ignored or have less of a grasp on
certain areas. Eric Finch is a recurring character within the novel, being a
police officer for the Norsefire government who often investigates terrorist
acts V has committed throughout the book. In the last third of the book, Finch
drives off to a former concentration camp in search of V and decides to intake
LSD. After taking in the drug, he starts hallucinating and then realizes how
much he does not like his job, and starts questioning himself. “We treated
you so badly, all the hateful things he printed, did, and said…but please.
Please don’t despise us” (Moore, 1990, 213). Finch starts hallucinating
about the friends he had, and he realizes how badly the Norsefire party and the
police 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, but
where are the answers? Who imprisoned me here? Who keeps me here? Who can
release 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 police
force and does his work by himself, after realizing that it was his own freedom
to choose the decision of working under the government, which ironically ends
up giving all his freedom away. This signifies the moment of freedom found when
law cannot reach and constrict an individual’s actions.

 

The novel V for Vendetta states that liberty can
only be acquired with a lack of government in place. Be it by simply ignoring
the government,