When the powers that rule embody evil in its most unrelenting form

When the powers that rule embody evil in its most unrelenting form, the question to be addressed is what should the oppressed citizens of such a government do? Where is the line between revolutionary and terrorist when the elected leaders abuse, control and refuse basic human rights? The key word here is elected. Through his graphic novel, V for Vendetta, Alan Moore provokes the reader to consider both questions while analyzing both fascism and anarchism to better understand the connotative meaning behind this groundbreaking novel. The story carefully details the extent of unlawful control the fascist government has maintained and takes the reader to a point of individual revolution, instinctively siding with V, seeking vengeance against the evil powers who reside over the citizens of this imagined London. A terrorist to the government is seen as a superhero to the people when the government is riddled with evil, while power in numbers is key to overthrowing such evils. Thus, the citizens must be held accountable for the leaders they put in power, and so V must employ an arsenal of skill, planning and habitual violence to be able to overthrow the fascist government that has oppressed the people of London, raising doubts of his morality.
First, by way of the fascist government, V is defined as a terrorist who threatens the empire these leaders have undoubtedly achieved through fear-based campaigns and the promotion of propaganda. Fascists underscore group membership rather than individual identity (Gottfried 318). Without the access to multiple news channel networks by restricting the citizens to the use of one television network, BTN, the government attempts to control how V is portrayed to the public. Their attempt to shape the public’s view of V is overshadowed by irony, while they paint him as the villain of their very own demise. It is evident to the reader that the fascist government has deployed the usual undercurrent of religion as a smokescreen to back their unlawful control. As the many posters littered upon the city walls state, “Strength through purity, purity through faith” (Moore 11). The poster’s phrase often contradicts the horrific scenes captured by David Lloyd’s illustrations, as the poster’s debut appearance acts as a backdrop to members of the fascist government attempting to sexually assault and subsequently murder young Evey Hammond. This is not they only instance of irony Moore and Lloyd deploy, as we continue to see morality stretched to its limits as the fascist government default to continual justification of their actions in retrospect to V’s terrorism.
It is only after the surveillance cameras are disengaged by V are the oppressed citizens of London finally able to pledge their allegiance to this supposed terrorist’s values. A government that tortured and killed thousands of people was unable to hide behind the curtain of fear they had deliberately drawn out to overpower the people, as the once monitored and controlled citizens could decide for themselves once and for all where the true threat lies. At this moment, V is no longer a terrorist to the citizens of London, but a superhero who has restored faith in humanity and morality, giving back control to the controlled.
Additionally, power in numbers is key to overthrowing such evils, and thus the citizens must be held accountable for the leaders they elect. After disarming the guards that protected the state-owned television network, V broadcasts his disapproval to the public and their inability to fight for freedom. During this broadcast V states, “It’s your basic unwillingness to get on within the company, you don’t seem to want to face up to any real responsibility, or to be your own boss” (Moore 114). He speaks to each person tuning into his address, creating a montage of their success and weakness, and ultimately giving them a two-year deadline to change their ways. V’s message radiates the idea that the citizens are responsible for the government and should be held accountable for the leaders they’ve elected. In comparison, as United States citizens, we maintain the right to vote and elect the leaders that collectively make the decisions that impact our financial, physical, and environmental futures. With the turnout of the recent midterm election, it is proven that positive change requires positive action. Although the United States is not a police state, in a hypothetical sense if it were, it is hard to imagine a country that would not try to fight for freedom; the foundation of which our nation was founded on. Similarly, after enduring the gruesome war and containment camps, the citizens of London would presumably want to fight for their freedom as well. It is only when fear has subsided, and the leaders of government are disarmed by superhero V, are the citizens able to revolt against the evils that controlled their lives.
Finally, V had to resort to habitual violence and obsessive planning in order to be able to overthrow the dark fascist government. George Crowder identifies the key attributes of anarchist political thought as its antistatism, its perfectionism, and its scientism (Crowder 27). Crowder’s analysis provides insight on the history of anarchism, its characteristics and purpose which V religiously embodies throughout his life. After years of torture and imprisonment at Larkhill nearly destroyed him, V was reborn, and thus was the superhero who was able to calculate the end of the fascist rule. Every attack V executed was carefully planned to the last detail, and had a poetic edge at every turn, something that was brilliantly illustrated by David Lloyd throughout the novel. Risking revealing his identity, the brave superhero donned the infamous Guy Fawkes mask as he broke down the fascist government one leader, one organization and one monument at a time.
As the novel reaches its most climatic moment, anarchism prevails as V has resorted to murder and destruction, leading the reader to question his morality at times. The irony here is that the fascist government which caused the death of thousands forced propaganda and control upon the citizens of London in an attempt to promote V as a terrorist threat to their lives. They promote the idea of safety and structure along with the use of fear-based campaigns in order to maintain control. At the very end of the novel, V assured Evey Hammond that he bears no name, only an idea, as he enforces that she must not remove his mask but understand the meaning behind his existence as an idea to fight for and not a human being to mourn. This selfless act assures the reader that V stood for freedom, not the vengeance and despair the government sought for them to believe.
Indeed, while anarchy prevailed, and chaos ensued, who was once a terrorist is now proclaimed as the hero in this story. Using violence and reaching out to the citizens of London, V achieves his goal in revolting against the fascist government. He has kept the citizens accountable for their actions, as were the leaders of the fascist government, as he passed down the responsibility to Evey and the public, as they are the force behind positive change. V for Vendetta depicts the message of political action and tells the audience it could soon happen to their government one day if they allow it to take control and not take a stand against their government. V teaches that people should not let fear overcome them and they should stand up for their rights and make a change in society. Everyone is a part of change, from child to government official, we all have a voice that must be heard.