V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

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“V” symbol Symbol Analysis

“V” symbol Symbol Icon

At many points in the graphic novel, V defaces government posters and buildings by carving a “V” symbol. The symbol is simple: a circle with two diagonal slashes through it, forming the letter “V.” The significance of the “V” is very clear: it represents an act of vandalism against the signs and buildings that Norsefire deems important, and thus an affront to the authority of Norsefire itself. It’s no coincidence that the “V” symbol is nearly identical to the popular “anarchy symbol,” spray-painted onto walls across the world—like its real-life twin, the “V” represents a rebellion against not only Norsefire, but against all big, tyrannical regimes.

“V” symbol Quotes in V for Vendetta

The V for Vendetta quotes below all refer to the symbol of “V” symbol. 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 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.

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Book 3, Chapter 9 Quotes

Because you were so big, V, and what if you’re just nobody? Or even if you’re someone, you’ll be smaller, because of all the people that you could have been, but weren’t.

Related Characters: Evey Hammond (speaker), V
Related Symbols: Guy Fawkes Mask, “V” symbol
Page Number: 250
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Evey--witnessing V's death--makes the difficult decision to keep V's face and identity concealed. Instead of removing his mask, she keeps the mask on.

Evey is still curious about V's true identity, but ultimately, she recognizes that V's individual identity is less important than the "idea" of V--in other words, the idea of a powerful, resourceful opponent of the Norsefire government, someone who's immune to pain and danger. In short, Evey recognizes that V is more powerful as an idea, capable of inspiring other people, than he is as an ordinary man (or woman).

Evey's decision to keep V's mask on also reflects the fact that she's free of her desire to be controlled and to have a father-figure. Evey has craved a strong, masculine presence in her life, but now, she has no further need for such a presence. Evey has learned how to take care of herself--she doesn't even need V anymore. By the same token, Evey has no more need for Adam Susan's government--by donning V's spare mask, she resumes V's mission to destroy the government forever.

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“V” symbol Symbol Timeline in V for Vendetta

The timeline below shows where the symbol “V” symbol 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
...crime scene. Finch walks to Prothero’s train car, where he finds a strange symbol: a V surrounded by a circle, carved onto the door. He sees two dead bodyguards, and notes,... (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
...and Mr. Finch has gone to visit the Leader. Finch explains to the Leader that “V,” as he’s been called, is a psychopath, capable of killing for any reason. The Leader... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 6: The Vision
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
In the Shadow Gallery, Evey surveys a staircase, which is emblazoned with “V.V.V.V.V.” Evey asks V what this means. V explains that it’s shorthand for a Latin phrase... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 8: The Valley
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...Bishop Lilliman’s home, it is the morning of December 21, 1997. Inside, they find another “V” carved onto the walls. Finch notices a rose, identical to the one left for Lewis... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 2: The Veil
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
As Rosemary continues to think about her loneliness, we see V walking through a strange, deserted building. V sees a poster for a film called The... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 1: Vox Populi
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...the ground, chanting “Bollocks Mr. Susan, bollocks Fate.” On the wall, she spray-paints the same “V” symbol that V makes. (full context)
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 3: Various Valentines
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
V stands up, looking at the rows of dominoes he’s set up. The dominoes are arranged... (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
...Dominic bursts into the Leader’s office. Without any introductions, Dominic explains that he knows how V has been orchestrating his terrorist attacks: V has had access to the Fate Computer for... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 4: Vestiges
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 Stonehenge, just as the sun is rising. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 6: Vectors
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
...and dirty-looking, walks through the streets outside London. He continues muttering words that begin with “V" to himself, trying to think like “the terrorist” thinks. Suddenly, he finds himself standing in... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 10: The Volcano
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Fatherhood, Mentorship, and the State Theme Icon
...from the safety of their headquarters. Finch notes that the rioters follow the “Symbol of V.” He reminds Dominic that symbols are all-important—the Leader made a crucial mistake in forgetting this... (full context)