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1.” I believe in strength. I believe in unity. And if that strength, that unity of purpose demands a unity of thought, word, and deed then so be it. I will not hear talk of freedom. I will not hear talk of individual liberty. They are luxuries. I do not believe in luxuries.”-Description of scene, Susan’s thought process.This is exactly what V is against. V, as a character, as an idea stands for the people, for the individuality of thought and expression. This is strengthened by the multiple references made by him in the book of the defining pieces of art that stood different cultures across the globe. He has a deep reverence for endemic literature and other forms of art as is evident from the same. Examples- Faust, Beethoven’s fifth, Macbeth. He is also deeply grieved by how they are becoming more and more inaccessible and obsolete under the authoritarian regime in which the book is set. This theme centered on freedom is what drives the novel, one character fighting to give the people freedom, and the other taking the people’s freedom away. V is an ardent believer in freedom from oppression and ignorance and emphasises how these are pivotal to a truly ‘free’ gentry. This will be explored further in the following slides. 2. “But it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it’s all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch we are free.”Description of sceneInches don’t exist in the real world, they’re a human construct created to understand our world better. Valerie, even though she could’ve sacrificed her integrity and spoken, she stuck to that same construct and placed it on a higher pedestal than her will to live. That inch of integrity was unshakeable and she wouldn’t give it up for anything. Because her integrity stood against the oppression, the regime that wanted her to conform to their standards. And as long as she stayed true to her ideals, she was free from that oppression. And that, was paramount. Even if it came at the cost of her life. After all, freedom is not free.3. “Sign that statement. You could be out inside three years. Perhaps they’d find you a job with the Finger. A lot of your sort get work with the Finger.””Thank you… but I’d rather die behind the chemical sheds.””Then there’s nothing left to threaten with, is there? You are free.”-Description of sceneThis is similar to Valerie’s situation. Evey, like Valerie, placed her integrity above her will to live and thereby established her freedom from the regime’s oppression. The ‘guard”s concluding statement is interesting to examine though. He said ‘…’, implying that one’s wants, in this instance the want for life, or the fear of death is an instrument that prevents one from being truly free. This relates to FDR’s four freedoms and highlights its prevalence in the novel.4. “You say you want to set me free and you put me in a prison.””You were already in a prison. You’ve been in a prison all your life.””Shut up! I don’t want to hear it! I wasn’t in a prison! I was happy! I was happy until you threw me out.””Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.”-Description of sceneThis further delves into the specific notion that is the freedom from want. It includes what a lot of people strive to get aplenty, consider to be the driving force of why one lives- happiness. However, it then becomes a guiding factor to what we want to achieve and infringes on an individual’s freedom from want. Which brings up the question, if happiness limits your reach for true freedom, is it even true happiness? 5. “I look at this mad pattern, but where are the answers? Who imprisoned me here? Who keeps me here? Who can release me? Who’s controlling and constraining my life, except … me?”This particular quote means a great deal in my perspective of the play. Eric Finch was arguably one of the more pivotal characters in the play. This particular scene where he finally starts questioning the implications of the objective of his job. He started contemplating about what V stood for and explored his conscience to reach the same conception of freedom that we have been unraveling. He realises that, even though he believed in the ideals that Norsefire represented, he was/grew to be averse to the structure of the government. He, like the rest, although he was in the inner circles of the government, started wondering about the morality of his actions and started taking responsibility. Subsequently, Finch just leaves, giving up everything he’d spent his time working for. He was finally free from the oppression he’d once found solace in, free from the want of stability. But most importantly, free from ignorance.Relating back to FDR’s VisionThe recurring themes of freedom that are evident throughout the novel are the freedom from oppression, ignorance and want as discussed previously. Additionally, the introspection entailed numerous other concepts integral to the theme of freedom, i.e. the fear of the unknown, the fear of death as in the case of Evey and Valerie and how they overcame it. Alan Moore provides within V for Vendetta a broader understanding of freedom. A perspective which focuses more on the ‘freedom from..’ aspect rather than the ‘freedom to..’ aspect, which is an integral part to truly understand and appreciate the beauty of this book. The ‘freedom to..’ side is basically, as V puts it, living in the land of ‘do-as-you-please’. However, what’s more important is the ‘freedom from..’ aspect which involves freeing oneself from ignorance, oppression, weakness, want and fear. This requires commitment – perseverance, education and discipline: in order to, in context of the book, create change in the existing governance.

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