The Graphic Novel • Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd • First published between 1982 and 1985 (black and white) • Drew on many science fiction/dystopian works such as Orwell’s 1984 • "Remember remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot. I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason should ever be forgot." Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot of 1605 Intertextuality in V for Vendetta • • • • • • • • • • • Gunpowder Plot as V's historical inspiration, contributing to his choice of timing, language and appearance.[Rokewood, Percy and Keyes are used in the film, which are also the names of three of the Gunpowder conspirators. parallels to Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo - direct comparisons between V and Edmond Dantès. (In both stories, the hero escapes an unjust and traumatic imprisonment and spends decades preparing to take vengeance on his oppressors under a new persona.) The film is also explicit in portraying V as the embodiment of an idea rather than an individual through V's dialogue and by depicting him without a past, identity or face. According to the Official Website, "V’s use of the Guy Fawkes mask and persona functions as both practical and symbolic elements of the story. He wears the mask to hide his physical scars, and in obscuring his identity. – he becomes the idea itself" story and style mirrors elements from Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera - both wear masks to hide their disfigurements, control others through the leverage of their imaginations, have tragic pasts, and are motivated by revenge. V and Evey’s relationship also parallels many of the romantic elements of the Phantom of the Opera The Norsefire regime takes totalitarian imagery from many sources, fictional and non-fictional. Nazi Party, Big Brother. Imagery from many classic totalitarian icons - Third Reich and George Orwell's 1984. Sutler primarily appears on large video screens and on portraits in people's homes, reminiscent of Big Brother. The slogan "Strength through Unity. Unity through Faith" is displayed prominently across London, similar to "War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength" Valerie was sent to a detention facility for being a lesbian and then had medical experiments performed on her, similar to Nazi Germany's treatment during the Holocaust. The name of Adam Sutler is inspired by the name of Adolf Hitler. Sutler’s hysterical speech is also inspired from Hitler's style of speech. Anarchism Vs. Facism • • • • • • • Greek anarcos = without rulers Political philosophy seeking abolition of ‘the state’ Seeks to diminish/abolish authority in the conduct of human relations (anarchists differ on this) “There is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance.” The Oxford Companion to Philosophy Pierre-Joseph Proudhon - first self-proclaimed anarchist, What is Property? published in 1840. Some claim Proudhon as the founder of modern anarchist theory Facism - highly xenophobic, rules the nation through both fear and force, worships strong leadership Several different types of state organisations which engage in power struggles with each other yet obey the same leader (Adam J. Susan in Comic and Sutler in film) Symbolism in the film • • • • • • • Dominoes Roses Fireworks/Explosions V (anarchy, 5, Villain or Victim?) Masks Propaganda How are symbols used throughout the film and how do they convey the film-maker's message? • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX7ehbE1vc 0&feature=related • Watch this interview with Alan Moore and take notes. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8OLSH7O0 6Y&feature=related • This one is for you to look at in your own time. Provides a little more background on how the comic came about and Thatcher’s England. Write • Finch believes that it is better to rule through strict order than let chaos reign. What political and social commentary do you see the film making through Finch's actions? Is V a Villain or a Victim? • ‘But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace soubriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona. Voila! In view a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the “vox populi” now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin, van guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it’s my very good honour to meet you and you may call me V.’ Do the ends justify the means? • Moore stated in an interview: • ...the central question is, is this guy right? Or is he mad? What do you, the reader, think about this? Which struck me as a properly anarchist solution. I didn't want to tell people what to think, I just wanted to tell people to think and consider some of these admittedly extreme little elements, which nevertheless do recur fairly regularly throughout human history. The rhetoric of terror • http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgibin/fulltext/117994072/PDFSTART • Could the vision presented in V for Vendetta really happen? How? Folio Task 3 Prompts - A strong leader does what is needed - ‘People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.’ - Alan Moore’s vision of the future is entirely plausible and we should be afraid - "The most frightening aspect of technological development is the loss of privacy and liberty for the average citizen." You can write a speech as V, ‘The Mouth’, Chancellor Sutler or you can write an expository or persuasive speech exploring ideas presented in any of the texts we have looked at. You will present this speech in class and submit a printed copy (plus written explanation) as your third folio piece.
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