V for Vendetta is a graphic novel
written by Alan Moore and was first published on September 1988. V for Vendetta
has had a profound impact on today’s society. The Guy Fawkes mask worn by the
main protagonist “V” has become a symbol of anti-government resistance.

Regularly worn by members of organizations such as Anonymous. The novel also
shows many similarities between V and organizations today that resist
governments that they feel are unjust e.g. Antifa resisting the presidency of
Donald Trump who they believe is authoritarian. For the purpose of this essay,
an authoritarian government is one that demands total obedience from its people
and ideas like freedom of speech are not permitted. The government in V for
Vendetta falls under this definition as the leader himself had stated that he
believes freedom is a “luxury” and that he does not believe in luxuries. The
government also has total control of the media to prevent the truth from
reaching the people. This prevents others from criticizing the government allowing
them to commit atrocities without repercussions. Without any possibility of
verbally fighting back against the government, people like V must turn to more
violent ways to fight for what they believe is right. The novel V for Vendetta
shows that violence against the government is the only way to combat injustice
from authoritarian regimes that silence freedom of speech.

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            An
example of this is from the words of Dr. Delia Anne, one of the doctors that
worked at Larkhill Resettlement camp that V killed. She was talking about a
time when they were administrating electric shocks to a patient. She said “They
were ordinary people and they were prepared to torture a stranger to death just
because they were told to by someone in authority.”

This supports my thesis as it shows
that the population are sheep and do as they are told by the government. This makes
it difficult for people like V to conduct any non-violent protests as they will
not have the support of the people to be successful in these endeavors. Also,
the people will not only not stand up to injustice but will also participate in
these atrocities out of fear of the government. Another example is how the Dr.

also talked about how “nearly 80% of those tested carried on administering
shocks after the ‘victim’ begged them to stop. Nearly 60% continued even after
they believed that they had killed him.” This shows that the people are once
again being controlled by the government and are obedient to it even though
they know something is wrong. This is likely due to fear of repercussions from
the government and because of this people like V cannot hope to gain the
support of the people. If he tries to peacefully protest he will be arrested
because the government is silencing freedom of speech. So, he must use violence
in order to combat injustice from authoritarian regimes that silence freedom of
speech.

 

            Another
example is from when V hijacks the radio tower and broadcasts his video. He is
forced to use violence in order to find a way to expose the government’s evil
and how the people are the ones responsible for their rise. Due to the
government silencing freedom of speech he needs to hijack the radio tower. The
text supporting this is “You heard what he did? Bloody ingenious breaks into
Jordan Tower, holds Dascombe and his crew at detonator point and makes ’em
broadcast his video.” The government controls the media and limits freedom of
speech so the only way V was able to display his message was by committing
violence against the government so he could use the state media to display his
message. Another textual reference supporting my thesis from the radio tower
hijacking was “You have accepted without question their senseless orders.” This
once again shows that people are afraid of consequences from the government due
to the government imposing restrictions on freedoms. The people are sheep and
will not stand up to the government. So people like V must resort to violence
because due to no support among the general population he would be killed for
talking against the government. This was clearly evident from this incident as
the soldiers shot Dascombe wearing V’s clothing on first sight and didn’t give
him a chance to surrender. Showing that the government is very sensitive about
anti-government sentiment and will violently crack down on it. Therefore,
violence against the government is the only way to combat injustice from
authoritarian regimes that silence freedom of speech.

 

 

            Another
clear example that violence was the only to combat injustice from an
authoritarian regime was early on in the book when Evey was about to get raped
by the police officers. The textual evidence to support my thesis is “You’ve got
it wrong, miss. You’ll do anything we want and then we’ll kill you.” Clearly
implying rape, the only way that these officers would have been punished is
through violence because due to the silencing of freedom of speech by the
government there would be no way Evey could file a complaint against the
officers. So, V decides that violence is the only to deal with these government
officials and combat the injustice being undertaken against Evey. Another
example supporting my thesis would be the bombing of the parliament buildings
by V. V was tortured and abused as a prisoner at Larkhill Resettlement Camp and
there was no way he could speak out about the injustices committed against him
and others at the camp so violence was the only to show the government that he
is a threat. The textual reference to support this is “Your incompetence has
cost us our oldest symbol of authority and a jarring propaganda defeat. Do you
understand what happened last night?” This shows that V was able to get the
government’s attention in a big way and deliver a decisive blow to their
symbols of power. If he protested non-violently the government would have
easily dealt with him due to violent crackdowns on freedom of speech. This
shows that violence against the government is the only way to combat injustice
from authoritarian regimes that silence freedom of speech.

           

            In
conclusion the following textual references from the novel V for Vendetta
clearly prove my thesis that violence against the government is the only way to
combat injustice from authoritarian regimes that silence freedom of speech. My
textual references showed various reasons as to why this would be correct such
as how by restricting freedom of speech the government imposes fear on the
people who will not protest against them and how violent actions are the only
way to get the government to take you seriously.