“What was done to me was monstrous…And they created a monster” -V
I think its safe to say I’m going through a dystopia phase. I recently discussed 1984 in minute momentary mind insights , have a post on the Handmaid’s Tale in the works and recently just re-watched the Matrix…for the tenth time. Perhaps, my favourite of these dystopian protagonists, is the elusive ‘V’ of the Wachowskis’ V for Vendetta. Was it that alluring mask or his sword weilding…or that tongue-tying sentence: “This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition”, that made ‘V’ so favourable?
As a philosopher and definitely not a fangirl, I shall declare it was his ideologies that made ‘V’ so vexing, valiant, veracious… okay, I’ll stop. I recall notably, that moment when in the film, Evey had her head shaven, sanity abused and dignity degraded. Perhaps the most intriguing revelation regarding this however, *spoiler alert* was that it was in fact, V that did this to her, rather than some manic intelligence enforcement agency as we are led to believe. Though utterly and unquestionably immoral, V’s incentive and purpose for this act, serves as the main course of our current philosophical meal.
An attempt to uproot the deep seated pain and problems in his victim, V tormented Evey for the purpose of liberating and freeing her. As V says when Evey confronts him regarding the incident, “You said you wanted to live without fear. I wish there’d been an easier way, but there wasn’t. I know you may never forgive me… but nor will you understand how hard it was for me to do what I did. Every day I saw in myself everything you see in me now. Every day I wanted to end it, but each time you refused to give in, I knew I couldn’t. *You* could’ve ended it, Evey, you could’ve given in. But you didn’t. Why? That’s it! See, at first I thought it was hate, too. Hate was all I knew, it built my world, it imprisoned me, taught me how to eat, how to drink, how to breathe. I thought I’d die with all my hate in my veins. But then something happened. It happened to me… just as it happened to you. Your own father said that artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself”.
V holds the notion of the ends justifying the means; twisting Evey’s sanity in order to sanctify her mind and grant her a way of ‘living without fear’.
This idea that true freedom can only be unlocked (or supressed conversely) by extreme methods, is further exemplified by Orwell, whose 1984 conveys Room 101, wherein the logic of how many fingers one is holding up, is manipulated by fear and repression of moral values/freedom. Similarly, V holds the notion of the ends justifying the means; twisting Evey’s sanity in order to sanctify her mind and grant her a way of ‘living without fear’. And in non-fictional circumstances one supposes this idea holds true: terrible acts birth terrific results in waking humanity up to a state of shared empathy in the face of adversity.
On that note, I ask you to remember, remember the fifth of November…but not for the treason or terror but for the philosophical triumpth that you found within this post!
Did you very much like this vibrant, verbose, victorious violation of philosophial valour? If you understood that sentence…and would enjoy reading more like it, click the links to the posts below: