V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

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V for Vendetta Book 3, Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It is November 6, 1998. A young girl walks through the streets of London. She remembers a conversation she’s heard her parents having, about the complete lack of surveillance people will enjoy in the next three days. Gleefully, the girl spray-paints the word “bollocks” onto the ground, chanting “Bollocks Mr. Susan, bollocks Fate.” On the wall, she spray-paints the same “V” symbol that V makes.
Here we see the power of V’s symbols in action. V’s “V” symbol has become so ubiquitous that children are scrawling it on walls across England. It’s significant that we see a child rebelling. Moore acknowledges that there is something childish about rebellion: before it can evolve into a sophisticated movement, it’s a crude, instinctual response to unwanted authority.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
The Leader sits in his room, contemplating how to control London without the help of the Voice of Fate. Mr. Creedy, who’s standing behind the Leader, points out that London has been quiet so far, but adds that security will be weak because police officers will want leave to attend the funeral of Mr. Etheridge. The Leader nods and says that it would be foolish to grant them this leave at such a dangerous time—although he notes that Etheridge's wife will be hurt if no one comes to her husband’s funeral.
We see the Leader at his most heartless. Just as he denied Rosemary Almond a pension after the death of his loyal servant, Derek Almond, he’s now refusing the police force the right to attend the funeral of their superior. This is a huge tactical error, and suggests that the Leader’s Fascist authoritarianism is backfiring—resulting in followers who aren’t as devoted as they used to be.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
Soldiers march through the streets of London, shouting for citizens to remain calm—“nothing is happening.” We see the people of London taking advantage of the lack of surveillance: buying food on the black market, looting grocery stores, etc.
The authority of soldiers is now laughably meager: all they can do is deny what’s happening all around them.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
During the three days without surveillance, Rosemary Almond goes to Alistair Harper, a gangster at the Kitty Kat Killer Club, and asks to buy a gun. Harper agrees to give her a weapon.
We’re not told what Rosemary hopes to do with her gun, but we can be sure that this weapon will figure in the final chapters of the graphic novel: as Chekhov said, “If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.”
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
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We see scenes of riots and police brutality throughout London. Two police officers discuss the murder of a Londoner—the police shot her “as if she was a Paki.” As this conversation goes on, we shift to a view of V’s smiling mask. V notes that the “silent majority” is easily destroyed—all it takes is one loud noise. We see people screaming and shouting at the police, furious at the officers’ cruelty. V notes that people are “much, much louder” than the government cares to remember.
The riots occurring throughout London are clearly what V had intended during the three days following his attacks on the Ear and the Eye. But it’s not clear if this is what V wants from the people of England: is this V’s idea of total freedom, or a prerequisite for it? Or is it freedom gone immaturely astray?
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon