When you turn on your television, or read the news you’ll notice the world is kind of a mess. I mean its probably always been this way, but the older I get the more I have been noticing the way the world works and that the injustices of history aren’t so far in the past as we’d like to believe. I’ve been paying attention to the heartbreaking atrocities going on in Ferguson since the murder of Mike Brown and this graphic novel just seemed like the one to read right now.
I’ve watched the film interpretation of V for Vendetta but this was my first time reading Alan Moore’s graphic novel. Set in England in the late 90’s a fascist government (Norsefire) has taken control after WIII and has eliminated anyone considered “other.” Black people, brown people, gay people have all been exterminated via concentration camps. The governing body is run as just that— a body. The head is the leader of Norsefire, the Fingermen are the secret police, the nose are the cops, the eye are the many cameras positioned around England to keep watch over its people, the ears are those put in charge or recording phone calls and listening in and the mouth, the propaganda division in charge of spewing lies to the masses. All of this to create the perfect society and to preserve the “survival of the nordic race.”
A man that goes by the name V, who wears a Guy Fawkes mask and happens to be a survivor of the Larkhill concentration camp starts a revolution challenging the people of England to wake up. He takes a 16-year-old Evey Hammond under his wing (after he saves her from an attempted rape by some Fingermen) while he starts taking down the government piece by piece.
There’s so much more to this graphic novel than can be written in a review but I would just say read it! It was amazing, disturbing, heartbreaking and unbelievable all wrapped up in one. It brought up so many questions while reading. Did V have the right idea? Could he have went about his message in another way? Did Larkhill make him crazy and the question that is never answered, (and perhaps doesn’t need answering) Who was he ?
I remember reading 1984 and it made me feel like we were all doomed, V for Vendetta made me feel a little more optimistic. Yes, its fiction, but its all based in the very real reality that there’s always someone, somewhere who thinks they know best and their ideas may include eliminating what may be seen to them as a threat. And like I said, if you turn on the news these days there are plenty of people in power who express thinly veiled messages similar to the ones held by the fascist government in this graphic novel.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this one, if you’ve read it let me know what you thought below.