V for Vendetta' Film Analysis Essay

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In the film V For Vendetta, a freedom fighter who lives in the shadows, who goes by the name V, plots to overthrow and take the current British government due to tyranny. Many sociological perspectives are presented throughout the film from sociologists such as Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber.

One of the main theories that surround the entire film is the idea of Marxism which comes from sociologist Karl Marx. Marxism observes the class relations and also the conflicts within society. The two classes Marx defines as the Proletariat, are the wage earners, and the bourgeoisie who are people who only care about money and power. In the film, the proletariat is the middle and working class and the bourgeoisie is the Norsefire Party which is run by totalitarian leader Adam Sulter. From Marx’s point of view, class struggles exist in the way that society functions. In this case in the film, the Bourgeoise better known as the Nosefire party has control over society such as power, money, and the means of production. Marx makes the argument that the freeman is the Bourgeoise and the slaves are the Proletariats. This is very visible in the film. The Nosefire party is the so-called “freeman”. Since they have total control over the society they have no rules to follow and have society the way they want it. While the Bourgeoisie or Nosefire party is controlling society, the Proletariats are the slaves of society. The government has implemented rules such as a curfew every night for people, what type of media they consume, and what type of music they are allowed to listen to this then makes people slaves to the government. People are suppressed from living in a society they want to live in but are trapped at the hands of totalitarian leaders. In the film, the Bourgeoise use tools such as television and radio to distribute their ideologies among society. Marx’s concept of false consciousness is prevented throughout the film. False consciousness is a way of thinking that prevents someone from perceiving their true nature. In the film, people fall into this state of false consciousness due to having to follow the rules, ideas, and beliefs, that leader Adam Sulter has pushed on society. All of these people within this society live in fear. They are too afraid to stand up to the government and its ruthless leader Sultan due to the large amounts of power they have. As said in the movie, there is too much cruelty, injustice, intolerance, and oppression, and people have the freedom to object and speak as they fit. This connects back to the idea of Marxism that people within the totalitarian society have no say in how society functions. People live in this fearful state because they know the harsh consequences that could come upon them if speaking out against the government. People within the proletariats also fall into Marx’s concept of constant class struggle. The concept of class struggle is presented in the film that society is on the verge of a revolution but the ideologies coming from the government put the revolution to a halt. In this case, the government is trying to more or less regulate society overruling it. The government, the bourgeoisie, feeds these ideas to the proletariats to create as said before false consciousness to create exploitation within society.

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Next, some of the other sociological perspectives come from sociologist Emile Durkheim. One of Durkheim’s perspectives called altruistic suicide is presented in the film. Durkheim defined altruistic suicide as the individual giving their life for the better of society. This is presented in the film when V makes a deal with Chancellor Creedy to bring him Sulter to kill him and then if he brings him Sulter, Creedy can kill V. V is shown here in the state of Altruistic suicide. He risks his own life for the greater and better of society. By sacrificing his life, he can kill the awful leader Sulter and for the rest of society to revolt against the government. Durkheim also believed that society needs crime. He said that crime is inevitable and normal within society. Crime is known to define the moral boundaries in society. In this case, V committing the crime of killing Sulter and accepting Altruistic suicide finally led people to revolt against the government. By V accepting death and his beliefs for society leads to another idea of Durkheim’s called coercive power. V's death pushed coercive power towards the other protagonist, Evey, and was forced to push the lever on the train to head towards parliaments with a large amount of explosives to once and finally bring down the government. These crimes committed by V are a step forward in rebuilding a new society and lifting away people’s fear of the government. This then leads to the creation of a society where ideas matter.

After that, sociological perspectives from sociologist Max Weber are presented in the film. One of Weber’s forms of rationalization is presented in the film. Rational action is the most efficient means to achieve a certain goal. This idea of rational action is presented throughout the film as protagonist V commits horrific crimes to achieve the goal of taking down the government and creating a more efficient society. Throughout the movie, V goes on to murder people of the government one at a time to slowly weaken their strength and power. However this may seem to be the wrong approach to the situation, but it was the most efficient way to achieve his goal of taking down the government. He knew that people within this society were living and fear and would be too scared to step up against their ruthless leader. By slowly weakening the government was the most efficient way to take down the government. V does go against one of the general features of rationalization which is formal and fixed rules of behavior.

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