V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

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Mr. Eric Finch Character Analysis

Eric Finch is a talented, thoughtful detective, and one of the most important figures at the Nose (the Norsefire institution that investigates terrorism and other major crimes). Finch is unlike the majority of his colleagues, insofar as he dislikes the repressiveness and brutality of the Leader’s regime, and voices his dislike to the Leader himself. Finch’s willingness to admit his disapproval is a mark of his bravery, as well as his immense competence—the Leader notes that he’d have no qualms about having Finch executed, were it not for Finch’s years of loyal service to the Nose. During the course of the graphic novel, Finch becomes increasingly obsessed with tracking down V. He recognizes that V isn’t an “ordinary man”—he’s not concerned with monetary gain or any other practical end. After the death of his lover, Delia Surridge, Finch takes LSD and experiences a mental transformation that allows him to think like V. Though Finch eventually tracks down V and kills him, he comes to realize that V was right to oppose the Norsefire regime. As the novel concludes, Finch has vowed to never accept orders from a tyrant again, and to be his own master.

Mr. Eric Finch Quotes in V for Vendetta

The V for Vendetta quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Eric Finch or refer to Mr. Eric Finch . 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 11 Quotes

You see, there are two possible motives here. Not one. The first motive is revenge. He escapes from Larkhill and vows to get even with his tormentors. The Parliament bombing and the other stuff is just a smokescreen. The whole exercise was an elaborate, chilling vendetta. That’s the explanation that I find the most reassuring, funnily enough. Because that means he’s finished now. That means it’s over. The second motive is more sinister. Like I said, everyone who could have identified him is now dead. What if he’s just been clearing ground? What if he’s been planning something else?

Related Characters: Mr. Eric Finch (speaker), V , The Leader / Adam Susan
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

Eric Finch, the head of detective work in the Norsefire government, tries to understand why V, known to be a masked vigilante, is murdering former Norsefire party members who worked at Larkhill Prison (where V himself was probably kept and tortured) years ago. Finch isn't sure if V is killing these people because he's angry with them and wants revenge, or because he's preparing for something else and trying to eliminate people who have valuable information about him—or both.

It's important to note the frightened tone of Finch's quote. He's afraid of and even awed by V's actions, and this is exactly what V wants: he wants to strike fear and uncertainty into the hearts of his enemies. And yet Finch's questions are valid--we're not any more sure of why V is doing what he's doing than we are. There's a fine line between V's personal vendetta and his broader commitment to ideals like freedom and justice. By wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and concealing his own identity, V can effectively enact two vendettas at the same time: he can satisfy his own personal desire for revenge while also fighting for his beliefs.

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Book 3, Chapter 4 Quotes

Because if I’m going to crack this case, and I am, I’m going to have to get right inside his head, to think the way he thinks, and that scares me.

Related Characters: Mr. Eric Finch (speaker), V
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

Eric Finch, the detective tasked with tracking down V, decides that the only way to catch V is to think like V. (This is one of the classic plot tropes of crime and serial killer stories--the detective discovers that he and his quarry eerily similar.) In order to simulate V's state of mind, Finch ingests a large quantity of LSD, a hallucinogenic drug that, he believes, promotes creativity and original thinking.

By taking LSD and thinking like V, Finch isn't just trying to solve his case. Finch is also trying to free himself from the constraints of his own society. Finch is secretly a good man who opposes the tyranny of Norsefire's regime. But just like everyone else, he's too frightened and cynical to attempt to oppose Norsefire, and he goes through life accepting injustice in his society. The fact that Finch subconsciously wants to be like V is a clear sign that he's fed up with being a pawn to Adam Susan and other Norsefire officials--he wants to escape the government's authority by first freeing his mind from fear.

I look at this mad pattern, but where are the answers? Who imprisoned me here? Who keeps me here? Who can release me? Who’s controlling and constraining my life, except … me?

Related Characters: Mr. Eric Finch (speaker)
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Eric Finch--having ingested a large amount of LSD--hallucinates that he's in a prison. He has a sudden, unexpected epiphany that he is his own prisoner. In the exact instant that Finch realizes that he is his own prisoner, the prison vanishes.

The scene is a clear metaphor for the paradoxes of freedom. In Norsefire society, the government wields a huge amount of control over its people. And yet, as V has pointed out before, the people of England have chosen to submit to Norsefire. By choosing to elect Susan, abide by his rules, and fear his discipline, the English people are literally condemning themselves to a life of fear and uncertainty--they are their own jailers.

But how to free yourself from a jail of your own making? As the passage suggests, Finch frees himself from his own fear and servility in the instant he become aware of these things. As strange as it may sound, the people of England--not just Finch--can choose to rise up against Susan at any time, taking control pf their own destinies in the process. (In real life, Alan Moore is a vocal proponent of LSD use--he often says that the drug stimulated his greatest creative leaps and personal epiphanies.)

Book 3, Chapter 7 Quotes

“Did you think to kill me? There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There’s only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.”

Related Characters: V (speaker), Mr. Eric Finch
Related Symbols: Guy Fawkes Mask, “V” symbol
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:

In this important scene, Eric Finch tracks down V and shoots him. V (secretly bleeding to death) tells Finch that nobody can kill him, because he's an idea, not a man.

V's statement isn't literally true, of course, but it's very powerful (and one of the most famous quotes from the work). V is a human being, but he's also much more. By wearing a cloak and a Guy Fawkes mask, V aims to erase his own personality and become a symbol. As a symbol, something without the flaws and complexities of a real human, V can inspire millions of other people with just his ideas, courage, and image.

Sure enough, a few chapters later, "V" is dead, but Evey has taken V's cloak and mask, effectively becoming the "new V." Ultimately, V isn't a person--it's a role, which can be played by many different people.

Book 3, Chapter 10 Quotes

I’m following my own orders now. And getting out before everything blows. Perhaps you should, too. Goodbye, Dominic. Take care, lad.

Related Characters: Mr. Eric Finch (speaker), Dominic Stone
Page Number: 252
Explanation and Analysis:

At the end of the graphic novel, Eric Finch crosses paths with his old coworker, Dominic Stone. Finch, transformed by his use of LSD, tells Dominic that he's no longer working for the government. His experiences with LSD and with V have convinced him that there's no point in living a life of fear and submissiveness. Instead of cowering before the Norsefire government, Finch chooses to "follow his own orders."

The second part of Finch's advice is as interesting as the first. Finch knows that soon, the Norsefire government is going to "blow"--and he has no intention of being around when this happens. One could interpret Finch's statement to mean that he's frightened of anarchy--the mob rule that's going to break out when Norsefire disappears from England. Finch's fear of the impending mob makes us, too, wonder what will become of England--after Norsefire, will the people build a utopian, anarchist society (a society in which, somehow, there's no government)? In typical fashion, Moore doesn't answer his own questions: he leaves readers to decide what an anarchist society would look like, or if it's even possible.

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Mr. Eric Finch Character Timeline in V for Vendetta

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Eric Finch appears in V for Vendetta. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 1: The Villain
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Leader next asks Mr. Finch to speak for “The Nose.” Finch explains that the terrorist used a set of highly... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 2: The Voice
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...The train has been crowded with police officers and detectives. One of these officers, Mr. Finch, is talking to a witness named Mr. Bishop, who explains that the train came to... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 3: Victims
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Immediately after the events at the end of the last chapter, Mr. Finch and his colleague, Dominic, climb aboard the train, which is now a crime scene. Finch... (full context)
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
It is November 7, 1997, and Mr. Finch has gone to visit the Leader. Finch explains to the Leader that “V,” as he’s... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 8: The Valley
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
...Lilliman can call him “V.” Heyer quickly realizes that Lilliman is in danger, and alerts Finch and Almond to send men to Westminster. (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
When Finch and his men arrive at Bishop Lilliman’s home, it is the morning of December 21,... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Finch tries to reconstruct what happened the night before. Bishop Lilliman was alone in his room... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...turned out to be cyanide and killed him instantly. After completing the autopsy on Lilliman, Finch learns that the Bishop’s bodyguards were killed by a quick, powerful wound, almost as if... (full context)
Book 3, Prologue
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
...high-level executive, sits alone. Dominic enters the room and asks him if he’s seen Mr. Finch lately. Mr. Etheridge replies that he hasn’t. Dominic explains that Mr. Finch has been acting... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 3: Various Valentines
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...7, 1998. At the new Nose building, Dominic has taken over as the new head—Mr. Finch has been mysteriously absent from his post. Dominic explains to one of his subordinates that... (full context)
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
We cut to Mr. Finch, who is walking through the country outside London. Finch thinks about Delia. Eventually, he comes... (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
On November 7, 1998, Eric Finch arrives at Larkhill Camp. He realizes why he’s failed to catch V—he’s been unable to... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Finch looks up, and sees the faces of his old friends—blacks, homosexuals, and other “subversives.” In... (full context)
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... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
Finch feels himself floating into the very room where V once lived: Room Five. As he... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
Stripped naked, Finch wanders into the distance, chanting words that begin with “V.” Eventually, he finds himself in... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 6: Vectors
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Eric Finch, unshaven and dirty-looking, walks through the streets outside London. He continues muttering words that begin... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 10: The Volcano
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
...is November 9, 1998. At 9:30 PM, a massive riot has broken out in London. Finch and Dominic stare out at the mob from the safety of their headquarters. Finch notes... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
Finch turns to go. As he does so, Dominic suggests that drugs have addled Finch’s mind.... (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
Outside London, Mr. Finch is walking on a lonely path. Suddenly, he hears a loud explosion—Downing Street has been... (full context)