V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta Book 2, Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It is February 3, 1998. We’re in a film studio, where a group of men are watching a childish adventure film about the “Storm Saxon.” In the film, a handsome blonde man defends a beautiful white woman from the “black butchers” who are taking over the country. As the men watch the film, V walks into their building and easily overpowers all of them.
In contrast to V’s complex, sophisticated art and literature, we see the “art” of Norsefire England: crude, racist cartoons about sex and violence. The “Storm Saxon” may be Moore’s caricature of the comic book heroes he would later satirize in Watchmen and Swamp Thing: although this one sinisterly reinforces racism and xenophobia.
Themes
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Elsewhere in the film studio, reporters are broadcasting the news throughout London. A reporter mentions the acts of “senseless terrorism” in Scotland and Ireland that have left hundreds of people dead. As the reporter continues, we “zoom out” to reveal that we’re looking at a sound studio, where Roger Dascombe sits, monitoring many programs at once.
It’s not clear who’s behind the terrorism in Scotland and Ireland—it could be V, or it could be others, inspired by V’s example. It’s also unclear what qualifies as terrorism for Norsefire: are the terrorists in Scotland merely blowing up government buildings, or are they killing innocent people, too? The line between “terrorist” and “freedom fighter” is especially blurred.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
Outside Dascombe’s room, there is an elevator. Two guards are about to step into the elevator. The doors open, and V jumps out and overpowers the guards. As he does so, we continue to hear the sounds of the television programs: the news story about terrorists in Ireland, as well as a childish sex comedy that seems to find humor in sexual harassment. V stabs the guards, killing them instantly, and walks away from the elevator.
Alan Moore has expressed his fondness for William Burroughs’s “cut-up technique” (see Background Info), which we see in action here. The two television programs—the sex comedy and the news story—cut back and forth between one another, sometimes amusingly, sometimes horrifically. Moore adapts the literary technique for his graphic novel.
Themes
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
V walks into Dascombe’s studio. He pulls up his cape, revealing that he’s covered in high-powered explosives, for which he has the detonator. As Roger and his staff look at V in horror, he hands them a tape and motions for Roger to play it.
V seems perfectly willing to sacrifice his own life for the sake of his cause. We believe that he’d blow himself up, and so does Dascombe.
Themes
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon
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Throughout London, V’s videotape plays on television. In the video, V is sitting at a desk, speaking to the camera as if he were a reporter. V greets London and says that he’ll begin.
The chapter ends on a note of suspense, but V still seems totally in control. Everything has gone according to his plans, as far as we know.
Themes
Freedom and Anarchy Theme Icon
The Power of Symbols Theme Icon
Vendettas, Revenge, and the Personal Theme Icon