V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta Book 1, Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
At the “Ear” headquarters, Heyer and his colleagues eavesdrop on conversations throughout London. They note darkly that Bishop Lilliman at Westminster likes to have a “children’s night” on Sunday. Heyer listens to recordings of Bishop Lilliman’s room. He hears loud music, beneath which he can detect a voice: someone saying that he has come to do the “devil’s work.” The voice—a man’s, and not Lilliman’s—says that Lilliman can call him “V.” Heyer quickly realizes that Lilliman is in danger, and alerts Finch and Almond to send men to Westminster.
We’re given another reminder that Bishop Lilliman’s fondness for having sex with children is well known in England: Heyer has actually listened to Lilliman rape children before. It’s not clear if V is aware that he’s being listened to, but it seems likely, since nearly everything is under surveillance at all times. He spreads fear with his very confidence.
Themes
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
When Finch and his men arrive at 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 Prothero. As Finch inspects the building, Dominic informs him that the music V was playing was Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
Finch begins to get a sense for V’s style of murder. He’s theatrical, and loves to leave clues behind: Beethoven’s music, roses, etc. It’s as if V is trying to tell Finch who he is, without actually giving away anything about himself—and also to remind him of the kind of culture and beauty suppressed by the regime.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy 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 with a prostitute—probably an accomplice of V’s, Finch guesses, since she’s nowhere to be found. Late in the night, Dennis went into Bishop Lilliman’s room to check on him. V must have turned out the lights, Finch realizes. Although Dennis had a gun, V was able to disarm him and, it’s implied, kill him.
Based on V’s clues, and the recordings from Heyer, Finch is able to deduce that V had an accomplice (whom we know to be Evey), and that he disarmed Dennis easily. Finch too seems well aware of Lilliman’s pedophilia.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
Bigotry Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Alone with Bishop Lilliman, V offered him the chance to take communion. V gave Bishop Lilliman a communion “wafer,” which 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 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 from.
The manner of Lilliman’s death is ironically appropriate. V gives Lilliman a poisoned wafer—an apt symbol of Lilliman’s brand of Christian hypocrisy. Although Christianity teaches that the wafer will transform (or transubstantiate) into the body of Christ, V’s poisoned wafer “remains” cyanide, killing Lilliman instead of filling him with religious ecstasy.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Get the entire V for Vendetta LitChart as a printable PDF.
V for vendetta.pdf.medium