Rosemary Almond attends her husband’s funeral. As Derek’s body lowers into the ground, Rosemary thinks that she never liked him. At the funeral, Roger Dascombe comforts Rosemary, holding her hand for a little too long. Rosemary interprets this to mean that he’s propositioning her—a thought which disgusts her. After Rosemary goes home, Dascombe calls and asks her to join him for dinner, but Rosemary refuses.
It’s not clear what Roger Dascombe is trying to do with Rosemary. We’ve seen some slight evidence that Roger is gay (in that he seemed to be calling out other closeted officials), but his actions imply that he’s taking advantage of Rosemary’s newly helpless role as a widow—using his position of power to seduce her.
Rosemary realizes the misery of her situation: she’s been given no money by the state after her husband’s death, she has no chance of getting a job, and she’s stuck paying off bills. Rosemary once believed that she loved Derek—it’s only now that she can see that their relationship was never strong.
In a sense, Evey and Rosemary are in the same boat: they’ve been cruelly ripped away from the men they depended on., and now are left alone and frightened in a world where the opportunities for women are slim.
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 Salt Flats, featuring a photograph that matches the film he was watching at the end of Book I. V takes this poster off the wall and carries it with him. He notices a propaganda poster, celebrating “Strength through purity, purity through faith.” V carves a “V” symbol on this poster, and walks away.
In this short section, V undermines the propaganda of the Norsefire government by defacing a Norsefire sign. In a sense, V is replacing one set of symbols—the Norsefire slogans—with another set of symbols—his own symbol of rebellion and anarchy. V will continue to wage war on Norsefire symbols for the rest of the novel.
We see Rosemary at dinner with Dascombe—she’s taken him up on her offer, realizing that she’ll have to do whatever she can to “survive.” After dinner, Dascombe invites Rosemary to his place for coffee. Rosemary accepts, and as she climbs into Dascombe’s car, he places his hand on her body. Rosemary thinks, “Oh God.”
Rosemary clearly thinks that Roger is going to try to seduce her, and she seems to have resigned herself to having sex with him. In losing her husband, she has suddenly lost her agency and power in the world of Norsefire.