Alternative Future in V For Vendetta

Categories: V for Vendetta

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, 'A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.' The ubiquitous presence of the government is the integral foundation of the apathy we possess towards how the government controls our lives. The government controls transportation methods, communication, the internet and education. We are so accustomed to a state of voluntary servitude that the security of the familiar bounds us with no desire to change, we end up as slaves to society succumbing to the system.

The domestication and coercion the government has put on society is evident in mass surveillance programs, censorship, propaganda and control over the media. The film 'V for Vendetta' suggests that in order to be free from the shackles of a totalitarian government, becoming self-aware and conscious provides the necessary catalyst to spark a vital need for radical change through the means of awareness, conversation and action.

The tactics of indoctrination used by the bourgeois in the film 'V for Vendetta' were through the control of the media by presenting violence and stupidity through the use of propaganda to uphold the truth for effortless control of the masses.

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In order to prevent controversy from arising, the bourgeois employ these strategies for the creation of captive audiences. Every day we are brainwashed from a sensory overload of information, fueled with lies, propaganda and societal norms to abide by. The use of the media in the film is an elemental part of how the government controls the population.

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The media build false images, generates fear and promises happiness. This perfectly conveyed by the TV broadcast following the V's revolutionary speech by portraying V as the villain and providing a false narrative in order to act as a detriment to V's persona and turn the masses against him, 'A psychotic terrorist identified only by the letter V attacked the control booth…In order to broadcast a message of hate.' However, the population remains unphased by the broadcast calling out the fallacies annotated by the presenter. Through the use of Marcuse's Critical Theory the masses were able to diagnose the injustice presented through V's speech as he exposed the indoctrination employed by the governments. After being oppressed for so long you can see in the characters face, a need for change against a totalitarian government. As put best by V, 'You wear a mask for so long you forget who you were beneath it' the people are so accustomed to societal norms, ideologies and ethics implanted by society that you no longer have your own voice for action, instead clouded by the ideologies imposed upon by the bourgeois. V's excellent use of critical theory is eloquently displayed in his revolutionary speech. He is able to identify the malpractice and wrongdoing of the government acting as a symbol of rebellion 'Cruelty and injustice...intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance, coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission…War. Terror. Disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you.' Ultimately devising a plan that on the 5th of November the masses will gather around parliament using it as a symbol for a revolution of change, fueled by the power of the people. In the movie, the government's belligerent behavior towards the proletariat aims to stifle the emergence of any kind of resurgence towards the state. With BTN being the only news broadcast available it allows for the easy spread of information that the government wants you to hear. A great example of this is at the beginning of the movie where Lewis Prothero using his position of power to present bigoted beliefs and values backed by the totalitarian government that encourages the messages he sends. 'We did what we had to do. Islington. Enfield. I was there, I saw it all. Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists. Disease-ridden degenerates. They had to go. Strength through unity. Unity through faith. I'm a God-fearing Englishman and I'm goddamn proud of it!' The governments' control of the media is the best tactic to control the masses and keep order within society.

Defined by Immanuel Kant, 'Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity.' In the film is Evey is enlightened, she transitions from voluntary servitude to the state to an awakened outlook of without fear of the state. During the abduction of Evey, the viewer is told the story from Evey's point of view where the viewer and Evey both experience the same things. From the moment Evey is processed in the facility we experience the interrogations from a hidden figure and having her head shaved, a quite traumatic experience. We also experience Evey's torture and the intense mental and physical trauma she endures. However, this is all an illusion cleverly presented by V, after Evey expresses no fear towards the state she is simply let go and faced with the reality that she was part of V's experiment to finally become enlightened. Enlightenment in the movie is letting go of fear from the government and finally establishing a highly developed and aware consciousness. V and Evey both share a similar path to enlightenment, V employed the same tactics used on him, torture and severe mental and physical abuse to guide Evey on the path to enlightenment. V became enlightened when he burned down the Larkhill Resettlement Camp, standing in the fire releasing a roar relieving him from all fear. Whereas, Evey is standing in the rain when she has her moment of enlightenment. Evey's former self was bounded by the shackles of immaturity imposed upon by the government. The themes of fear and freedom presented in the movie are interweaved with each other, the awareness of the people leads to necessary conversation for change and action. The end of the film is where we see the people without fear of the government, able to rise and together, liberate the domestication enveloped on them.

A gadfly is an individual who questions the state's ideas and keeps them obliged to their duties. Socrates said in 'The Apology', 'I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. You will not easily find another like me.' A gadfly is a highly developed aware, conscious and enlightened individual, of course Socrates perfectly fits the gadfly example. In the movie the gadfly is V, once he reached enlightenment he was able to perfectly execute critical theory by the use of awareness, discussion and a specific strategy for change. V articulately displays his use of critical theory in his TV broadcast, 'I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke… Words offer the means to meaning and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression.' V lays out the current state of voluntary servitude the people have been lulled into, he diagnoses the injustice the government operates on, empathizing with the masses and exposes the malpractice of the government. He concludes with a plan to meet outside parliament on the 5th of November to replicate the actions of Guy Fawkes, causing an amplifying awareness of the lack of fairness, justice and freedom, outside of the building that governs the country. V casts light on the blind eye we have to our own oppression and how we mindlessly deify and worship the system. V's diagnosis stimulates the shift from a domesticated morality and ideology to one that can precondition freedom. Gadflies are highly enlightened individuals that provoke awareness and the need for conversation and action.

'V for Vendetta' perfectly illustrates that becoming self-aware and conscious provides the necessary catalyst to spark a vital need for radical change through the means of awareness, conversation and action. The tactics of indoctrination used by the bourgeois were through the control of the media by presenting violence and stupidity through the use of propaganda to uphold the truth for effortless control of the masses. Without the fear of the government, it would lose control of us and the masses will be able to recapture their freedoms. V fulfills the divine duty of being the gadfly by diagnosing the injustice imposed on the people and lay out a specific plan for action. As best put by Socrates, 'The unexamined life is not worth living' being an active, self-aware and conscious individual is better than being a slave to the system.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Alternative Future in V For Vendetta. (2024, Feb 12). Retrieved from

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