V For Vendetta Essay

1561 words - 6 pages

Of the many symbolic masks, the Guy Fawkes mask stands out as one of the most effective, often being used as a “masked identity” in order to make profound statements. Not only does this secret identity create more attention to the “masked one” but it also diverts attention to the cause rather than the identity. Literally using a mask, Fawkes was the main influence of the character “V”, in James McTeigue’s, V For Vendetta. V’s connections and motivations to Guy Fawkes, his attempt to justify himself as a terrorist, and V’s concealment of his true identity, collectively define the message that V conveys to his audience: to break parliament and take control of their own country.
Guy Fawkes’ actions act as a dominant influence in V’s life, motivating V to make a step towards justice in hope that others may follow. Fawkes’ actions, as portrayed by the Gunpowder Plot, were an attempt by himself and other conspirators to blow up parliament for the rights of the many English Catholics in the area (Herber). It is evident in that V uses this as motivation in his own personal life, as he too attempts to blow up parliament in belief that the government running his country was not only failing to make the country better, but also deliberately doing acts that were demoralizing their people. This relationship between V and Fawkes is illuminated in these similar acts against the governments they rebel against, Parliament for Fawkes and Norsefire for V. “Resistance is possible whenever we think outside our collective boxes and sacrifice our immediate wants for a long-term vision of a better future.” (Cudd 188) Both feel as if their people are being oppressed and therefore show resistance against the ruling force. V and Fawkes both also experience the ultimate sacrifice of death for the chance of their visions to be successful. Many viewers might mistake V as one who is trying to be a reincarnation of Guy Fawkes. In stating this, V was greatly influenced by Guy Fawkes, but he was not just doing it for rebellion. V’s past had a great deal to do with why he tries to overthrow the Norsefire, but he is also motivated by the people, in whom he believed he would help them take the country into their own hands and rise up against their own government. We see this as the people proceed towards the parliament building in Guy Fawkes masks, completely ignoring the army standing in their way, and watch the celebration of the parliament building being destroyed. This scene demonstrates the influence that V makes, somewhat separating himself from Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes never attains the collective support from the people, but V successfully turns the people against their government, helping them realize that the only way to stop the chaos is by doing something about it; in this case, rising up against their own government.
V blows up populated buildings, he murders heartlessly, and even manages to torture the closest person to him, Evey, until she views the world as he...

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