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Thursday, November 5, 2015

V for Vendetta

"Remember, remember, the fifth of November..." Yes, friends, I had never read Alan Moore's V for Vendetta until this fall. I have been waiting to get this post up until today, because, well...you know.

(Also, a happy birthday to my mother.)

The year is 1997, and the citizens of the United Kingdom are living under a fascist government as sheep who follow along with no qualms about their passive lifestyle. V, whose real face we never see, sets out to right the wrongs of his past and wake up his fellow citizens to fight the good fight and win back their own lives. Through this he takes Evey under his belt, a woman who was working as a prostitute (or, at least, trying to) and mentors her into becoming his next revolutionary protege. 

Of course I had seen the movie years ago, and honestly, I couldn't remember much of it other than, and I may be paraphrasing here, that the people should not fear the government, but that the government should fear the people. It was so eye-opening tor read the source material up close and personal. I was surprised at how violent the graphic novel could be, and even in 2015, and knowing what I know about how humans actually treat each other, I was still taken aback by the violence and inhumanity of the human experiments carried out on powerless people by their government. To that end, it's very difficult not to side with V. His personal vendetta is greater than just himself; it's about sparking a revolution, and you can't walk away from that.

I recently read Book Slut's post on this novel, and it's really great and very much worth a read. Like I said earlier, I can't remember much about the film, which I think is perfectly fine, really. What I loved about this novel was contained snugly inside of it, and it is the revolutionary underpinnings of what V stands for. He wants his fellow countrymen to wake up and fight for their right to live peaceably and not under the thumb of a totalitarian government that picks who lives and dies based on who is worthy and powerful enough. The only way to do this is to incite a little bit of violence. I am not advocating that as the only form of revolutionary means, but in this story, it is what makes absolute sense.

I understand why this novel means so much to it's readers, and it's a cult classic for a reason. It was well worth the read, and it's prompted me to dig deeper on the graphic novel itself and the ways it has been used in the subsequent 33 years since it's original publication. What does the revolution look like over the three decades following? We have some answers, and we are still working on it as a human race.

For purchase below. 

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