V for Vendetta, published in1990 by Alan Moore, is a graphic novel set in a future version of England takenover by fascism. The fascism in the book is similar in cruelty to Nazi Germanyin World War II, with the dictator, Adam Susan, using all of his power tooppress everyone in the country, such as installing concentration camps.
Ittakes for one individual, called V, to rebel against the government for the sakeof freedom and anarchy; having control over one’s own decisions without agovernment telling them otherwise. V commits serious acts of terror against thefascist government so everyone can live free of an oppressive rule. The novel,V for Vendetta suggests that government cannot provide freedom, and thatfreedom can only be achieved when government ceases to exist. Firstly, in chapter five of thefirst third of the book, the theme of individual liberty is addressed by twosides, by V and the Norsefire party. 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, oftenpertaining to giving their citizens more rights, more freedom and justice. So whenthey get elected, they forget what they say during their political campaign andthus no progress for freedom happens. Since anarchy means the lack of agovernment, which means that there is no one to lie and make promises for thesake of anarchy. Secondly, the government is onlyable to restrict freedom. When the reader gets formally introduced to thedictator, Adam Susan, Susan gives a full speech of his goals and ideals.
Inthis speech, Adam Susan explicitly states multiple times within this speechthat he does 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” (Moore, 1990, 37). Here, Adam Susan does not believe thatpeople should be able to live with a luxurious lifestyle.
This is because “The war putthe paid on luxury. The war put paid on freedom.” (Moore, 1990, 37), andbecause of the war, the luxury of freedom is unaffordable. As such, Adam Susanstates that: “The only freedom left to my people is the freedom to starve, the freedomto die, the freedom to live in a world of chaos. Should I allow them thatfreedom? I think not. I think not.
” (Moore, 1990, 38). This quote inparticular shows how restrictive Adam Susan is for the sake of protecting hispeople, Lastly, freedom can be acquired whenone leaves the area of centered oppression, as shown with Eric Finch. EricFinch is a recurring character within the novel, being a police officer for theNorsefire government who often investigates terrorist acts V has committedthroughout the book. In the last third of the book, Finch drives off to aconcentration camp in search of V and decides to intake LSD. After taking inthe drug, he starts hallucinating and then realizes how much he doesn’t likehis job, and starts questioning himself. “We treated you so badly, all the hatefulthings he printed, did, and said…but please. Please don’t despise us” (Moore,1990, 213).
Finch starts hallucinating about the friends he had, and herealizes how badly the Norsefire party and the police treated them just causeof their sexuality and takes the blame for it. Finch starts questioning evenmore, and says: “I look at this pattern, but where are the answers? Who imprisoned mehere? Who keeps me here? Who can release me? Who’s controlling and constrainingmy life, except…me? I…I’m free. (Moore, 1990, 215). This is when Finch startsto abandon the police force after realizing how badly they treat the people inthe country and now only works for himself, free to do whatever he wants. Thismoment signifies the freedom found when there is no law to constrict anindividual’s actions.