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Marxist Analysis of the Film 'V for Vendetta'

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Set in dystopian London ‘V for Vendetta’ directed by James McTeigue, tells the story of the mysterious ‘V’ and his mission to begin a revolution to overthrow the government due to how it oppressed him and the citizens of London. With the help of his ally, Evey, they become successful in toppling the government. With the topics, this film covers and how the story plays out, the best literary theory to analyze it with is Marxist theory as they both feature topics of oppression and proletariat revolutions.

During the film we see the residents of London being oppressed in many forms from simple curfews to mass torture, both of which show obvious signs of oppression. The news network is also controlled by the government to misinform the public. As mentioned in the film by V disguised as William Rookwood, “…Fear became the ultimate tool of this government” (‘V for Vendetta’). High Chancellor Sutler uses this fear to control London and to strengthen this fear, he had his laws heavily enforced going as far as to kidnap citizens and send them to places that act as a prison only to be later killed. This increased control oppresses London keeping the people in fear.

Those who disobey or contain information on a government situation are commonly tortured, but in V’s case, he and many others are experimented on, being treated as just test subjects rather than other humans.

Due to London being run by a dictatorship, many residents were stripped of their freedom in their actions, speech, and belongings. Deitrich, a comedy/ talk show host, made a TV skit that made fun of Sutler. Sutler took offense to it and sent his ‘Fingers’ (a Finger is an agent of Sutler’s government) to Deitrich’s home where he was kidnapped and later executed not only for his show but also his ownership of a Koran, “when they found a Koran in his house, they had him executed” (‘V for Vendetta’).

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Combined with the fear of London, Sutler removes almost any differences among his citizens. Similar to ‘Harrison Bergeron’, most citizens were mentally the same and if you had any opposing ideologies, you would be arrested and thrown in jail. This oppressed lifestyle prevents any sort of ideas that may change the world and by also taking away other cultural items, people would be uneducated towards other cultures and inspirations which may spark a revolution.

Since V has a vendetta against the government, he plans to try to overthrow them and spark a revolution to end the regime.

His proletariat revolution is mainly led by just him as he has been tortured by current government officials. V’s main method of inspiring others to revolt against the dictatorship is by blowing up political buildings as he believes, “with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world” (‘V for Vendetta’). Indeed, destruction can be used to inspire people to overthrow an authority figure or group. By destroying government buildings V demonstrates how the people have the power to make a change and in doing so he is successful in rallying the citizens of London. V also kills government officials not just for revenge but to loosen Sutler’s grip on London, giving the inhabitants more freedom in their ideas.

Eventually, London residents start to gain the courage to go against Sutler’s regime and begin to riot to show that the government has no power over them. Through V’s acts of ‘terrorism’, he unites the people of London and finally severs the power that Sutler had over them all. “Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy. And ideas are bulletproof” (‘V for Vendetta’). V says this in a way that proves that ideas cannot die as he has already inspired all of London. The mob marches through military checkpoints displaying that they are not afraid to die for their cause. Despite how V dies he still departs an idea of hope and freedom by blowing up parliament as a final way to show the remaining government how they could not prevent the ideas of people.

In conclusion, ‘V for Vendetta’ is best analyzed from a Marxist perspective as the film covers how an oppressive government affects a society. By using fear to control a population, a government can gain power at the cost of how society would view them. Thus, the government would oppress the population in fear that a revolution would start. All it would take would be the actions and ideas of a single man to inspire the people to rise against their oppressors and take back their freedom. With the man leaving behind a legacy of hope.

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Marxist Analysis of the Film ‘V for Vendetta’. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/marxist-analysis-of-the-film-v-for-vendetta/
“Marxist Analysis of the Film ‘V for Vendetta’.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/marxist-analysis-of-the-film-v-for-vendetta/
Marxist Analysis of the Film ‘V for Vendetta’. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/marxist-analysis-of-the-film-v-for-vendetta/> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
Marxist Analysis of the Film ‘V for Vendetta’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/marxist-analysis-of-the-film-v-for-vendetta/
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