V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

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Delia Surridge is a middle-aged doctor who worked at Larkhill Prison years before V for Vendetta begins. She is a talented doctor, who researched drugs that could alter the human mind and body, and gave them to patients at Larkhill, confident that their agony and death would be for the greater good of her research. In the years following her experiences at Larkhill, Delia comes to realize that her experiments were barbaric. Because V recognizes that Delia shows remorse for her actions, he kills her with a painless drug. Delia’s death is a turning point in the novel because it causes Eric Finch, her lover, to reconsider his place in the Norsefire government, and visit Larkhill Prison himself.

Delia Surridge Quotes in V for Vendetta

The V for Vendetta quotes below are all either spoken by Delia Surridge or refer to Delia Surridge . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vertigo edition of V for Vendetta published in 2005.
Book 1, Chapter 10 Quotes

They were ordinary people, and they were prepared to torture a stranger to death, just because they were told to by someone in authority. Some of them said they’d even enjoyed it. I think I enjoyed what I did at the time. People are stupid and evil.

Related Characters: Delia Surridge (speaker)
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Delia Surridge, a former employee of the Norsefire government, contemplates the infamous Milgram experiment (though she doesn't mention it by name). In the 1970s, a psychologist told a series of volunteers to administer painful shocks to a test subject, supposedly in order to conduct a learning exercise. The vast majority of the volunteers agreed to administer the shocks, even though they knew full-well that they were probably hurting innocent people. In reality, no shocks were ever given--the experiment was designed to study obedience to authority. Surprisingly, Milgram concluded that the vast majority of human beings will commit atrocious crimes, provided that someone who seems like a leader orders them.

Delia is especially disturbed by the Milgram experiment because she herself was an obedient servant of the Norsefire government for many years--she helped experiment on innocent people in concentration camps. Her experiences have lead her to hate herself, and to hate human beings in general. In many ways, V's goal is to rouse the "common man" from his Milgram-esque obedience to authority, inspiring him to question the Fascists who order him to commit human rights abuses.


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Delia Surridge Character Timeline in V for Vendetta

The timeline below shows where the character Delia Surridge appears in V for Vendetta. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 8: The Valley
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...through their bodies with his fingers. Disturbed, Finch takes V’s rose—another Violet Carson—to his assistant, Delia, and asks her to research where it could have come from. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 3: Various Valentines
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
...cut to Mr. Finch, who is walking through the country outside London. Finch thinks about Delia. Eventually, he comes to Larkhill Camp, and thinks, “This is where it ends.” (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 4: Vestiges
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
Finch walks into a building of Larkhill, where he’s surprised to find Delia, cooking dinner. Finch confesses that he’s taken drugs. Delia nods and points him toward two... (full context)