Evey looks at V, stunned. She’s just learned that V staged her kidnapping, her imprisonment, and her torture. V nods—he admits that it was “only me.” He did this, he insists, because he loves Evey, and wanted to free her. Evey screams at V. She didn’t need to be free, she insists—she was happy. V nods and tells Evey that happiness is the most “insidious prison of all.”
V believes that Evey needed to be freed from her own desire to be happy—as happiness can lead to complacency, and freedom is not a necessary aspect of happiness, so the desire to remain happy can make one look the other way regarding tyranny and oppression.
Evey continues screaming at V. She found love and affection with Gordon, she tells him. V explains that Gordon was only a “better kind of prisoner.” Eventually, another “inmate” in the prison of society stabbed Gordon. Evey asks V how he could possibly know this, and V replies that Gordon’s story isn’t uncommon. Evey runs away from V, trying to escape from the Shadow Gallery. V follows Evey calmly. He didn’t imprison Evey at all, he insists—he just showed her the bars. Evey is only screaming, he maintains, because freedom is a terrifying thing.
In this section, V makes an important distinction between radicalism and progressivism. V is a radical: he thinks that society is poisoned by its corruption and Fascism, and the only solution is to destroy the government altogether. Gordon, by contrast, was a progressive: he saw some problems in society, but still wanted to survive within it, helping a few other people to survive along with him. In V’s view, Gordon is a prisoner, just as Evey was. Moore reminds us that freedom is a complex thing: V believes that freedom consists of diligent education and training.
Evey collapses at V’s feet, screaming and weeping. V encourages Evey to let out her feelings—she’s “so close” to being completely free. He gently pulls Evey to her feet and leads her to the roof of his home, noting that there will be “no more blindfolds.”
The lack of blindfolds in this scene suggest that Evey really has matured in the course of the last few chapters: she’s no longer blinded by her desire for happiness or contentment, and thus can see her society for what it really is.
V and Evey reach the roof of the Shadow Gallery. It is cold and raining. There, V tells Evey to become “transfixed and transfigured.” Evey screams into the rain.
Freedom is a strange, terrifying thing, Moore suggests—a struggle in which there’s no guarantee of success or happiness. Nevertheless, freedom over one’s integrity and bravery is of the upmost importance: it is better to be free and struggling than imprisoned and naively happy.