V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

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Valerie Character Analysis

Valerie is a lesbian actress whose life story inspires both V and Evey to oppose the Norsefire government. Valerie endured mockery and homophobia as a young woman before moving to London and becoming a successful actress. After the rise of the repressive, homophobic Norsefire government, Valerie was betrayed by her lover, Ruth, and sent to Larkhill Prison. There, she refused to sacrifice her dignity to her jailers, instead writing a long letter on a piece of toilet paper. It’s suggested that both V—who occupies Valerie’s cell after she dies—and Evey—who read’s Valerie’s letter when she’s enduring her own torture and imprisonment—take Valerie’s message to heart: they both maintain their dignity and integrity, bravely refusing to inform on their friends.

Valerie Quotes in V for Vendetta

The V for Vendetta quotes below are all either spoken by Valerie or refer to Valerie . 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 2, Chapter 11 Quotes

But it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish? It sells for so little, but it’s all we have left in this place. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch we are free.

Related Characters: Valerie (speaker)
Related Symbols: Valerie’s Letter
Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:

Halfway through the graphic novel, Evey is arrested and imprisoned. In prison, she's tortured and ordered to sign a confession stating that V kidnapped her and sexually abused her. Although Evey is tempted to lie and sign the statement (effectively clearing herself of any danger), she's inspired to hold out after finding a letter written by a woman named Valerie. In the letter, Valerie talks about being confined to a prison cell and refusing to cooperate with her captors.

Valerie refuses to give in because she doesn't want to sacrifice her integrity and personal freedom. By cooperating with people she despises, Valerie would be sacrificing her principles for the sake of "mere" survival. Even if she did survive prison, Valerie decides, she wouldn't be able to respect herself any more--she'd spend the rest of her life thinking of herself as a frightened animal, more interested in life for life's sake than in freedom, justice, or truth.

Valerie's letter also makes a surprising suggestion: human beings can obtain freedom by refusing to cooperate with torturers, even in the moment when they are literally being imprisoned and tortured. As long as a human being has control over her dignity and self-respect, she'll never be completely broken. A torturer could mangle Valerie's body and hurt her horribly, but she would still be a proud, dignified human being, with at least that last "inch" of freedom.


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