The chapter opens in complete blackness. Evey is lying in a mysterious place. She smells roses, and thinks, half-dreaming, about her childhood.
The presence of roses here might signal to us where Evey is, but for the time being, Evey has no idea where she is, or what’s going on.
Evey remembers a birthday party she had long ago. In the memory, she has to get ready before she can go to the party—something she finds annoying. Evey’s father approaches her, urging her to hurry up so that she can see the Punch and Judy man he’s hired. Evey follows her father up the stairs—stairs that remind her of “somewhere else” and depress her.
In this strange dream sequence, we recognize motifs from V’s home and personality: the staircase, the Punch and Judy man (whose face resembles the mask V wears while torturing Prothero), etc.
At the top of the stairs, Evey’s father—who now takes the form of Gordon, points her to a bedroom. Inside, Evey sees that the bedroom resembles the one where Bishop Lilliman tried to have sex with her. In bed, Evey kisses Gordon. Suddenly, her mother walks in. Evey realizes that she’s sleeping with her father, and feels very guilty. Yet Evey’s mother seems not to mind.
In this section, we see Evey’s Electra complex in its simplest and most overt form: she turns to various father figures for love, comfort, and sex: Gordon, V, and, in her dream, her father himself. The presence of Bishop Lilliman adds an interesting possibility: perhaps it’s fair to say that Evey—and the people of England—turn to Norsefire because they crave a strong father-figure after the devastation of nuclear war.
Evey leaves her mother and father and walks into a mysterious room that resembles an old folks’ home she once visited. The Punch and Judy man is there to entertain the old people. Evey sees that the man is wearing a mask like the one V wore before he destroyed Lewis Prothero’s doll collection. The masked man uses his club to knock the heads off of Lewis Prothero and Roger Dascombe. Evey wants someone to stop him, but no one does.
Even in her dreams, Evey expresses her fear of V and V’s violent methods of political activism. Perhaps the key theme to recognize here is the desire to “stop him.” We’ve seen that the people of England recognize that their government is evil—but like Evey in her dream, the people of England are too weak, frightened, and complacent to do anything about it.
Evey runs away from the Punch and Judy man, who follows her. She runs down the stairs, toward an elevator, shouting for her parents. No parents answer her—instead, the Punch and Judy man, who’s now dressed like V, catches her, just as the elevator doors are about to open.
The connection between Evey’s dream and V is now more explicit: V is the sinister father figure who both helps and hurts Evey after her parents die.
Suddenly, Evey wakes up from her dream. She’s lying alone in a mysterious prison cell. Outside the cell, she sees the motto of the state written into the wall: “Strength through purity, purity through faith.” Evey is terrified.
The sight of Norsefire slogans by themselves is enough to terrify Evey and clue her in to the fact that she must be in a Norsefire prison, apprehended for who knows what.