V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

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Roses Symbol Icon

Throughout the graphic novel, V kills his enemies and commemorates their deaths by placing roses on their dead bodies. It’s implied that V got the idea to plant roses on each of his victims after reading Valerie’s letter, in which she notes that the Norsefire government destroyed her happiness and “took away the roses.” Thus, V’s roses pay homage to Valerie’s memory: he’s “bringing back” roses. Of course, V’s roses are symbols of death and brutality, not happiness, as they were for Valerie. And yet V sees his roses as symbols of gentleness and kindness, as well as violence. He grows the roses, very carefully, in a private garden in his home, tending them as carefully as if they were his own children. This tells us something about V’s acts of terrorism. Like gardening, killing is a form of “creative destruction” for V: he’s taking others’ lives, but he’s also doing so in order to bring justice and peace to England.

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Roses Symbol Timeline in V for Vendetta

The timeline below shows where the symbol Roses appears in V for Vendetta. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 3: Victims
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
...them probably did so ”with his finger,” stabbing into their chests. Finch also notices a rose placed on the train seat. It is a kind called a “Violet Carson,” supposedly extinct... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6: The Vision
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Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Meanwhile, in the Shadow Gallery, V prepares for another mission. He takes a rose, identical to the one he left for Lewis Prothero, and leaves, reciting William Blake’s poem... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 8: The Valley
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...December 21, 1997. Inside, they find another “V” carved onto the walls. Finch notices a rose, identical to the one left for Lewis Prothero. As Finch inspects the building, Dominic informs... (full context)
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...almost as if V punched 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... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 9: Violence
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...figure emerging from a massive fire. As the woman prepares for bed, she notices a rose on her couch. (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 10: Venom
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...died in accidents. Finch doesn’t know what to say. He remembers giving one of V’s roses to Delia—a colleague of his who worked as a doctor at Larkhill. Panicked, he goes... (full context)
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Back in Plaiston, Delia tells V that Eric Finch gave her one of V’s roses that morning—he’s trying to track V down. V says nothing, but holds up a syringe—he... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 11: The Vortex
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...deal of food, which Prothero greedily eats. The man from room five also grows beautiful roses. He asks for new gardening supplies, including ammonia for fertilizer. Prothero reluctantly orders these supplies... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 9: Vicissitude
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Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
The chapter opens in complete blackness. Evey is lying in a mysterious place. She smells roses, and thinks, half-dreaming, about her childhood. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 11: Valerie
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...The Salt Flats. There, Valerie befriended her costar, an actress named Ruth. Ruth sent Valerie roses, and shortly afterwards, they became lovers. These were the best years of Valerie’s life, but... (full context)
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...she’ll die very soon. But she writes that despite everything, for three years she had roses—thus, there is an inch of her that will never perish. As we read this, we... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 14: Vignettes
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Back at the Shadow Gallery, V shows Evey a huge garden of roses, and explains that he’s grown them in honor of Valerie. From time to time, he... (full context)
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...that it’s almost time for the “finale.” He’s going to give the world “what Valerie wanted”—roses. Abruptly, he presses a button, and the room turns into a dance floor, complete with... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 5: The Valediction
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...books, and other tools for making explosives and drugs. Next, he takes her to the “rose room,” where V grows roses for the men he’s planning to kill. Evey asks V... (full context)