Monday, March 7, 2011
V for Vendetta Revisited
Some may remember my previous post regarding the movie, V for Vendetta: Scary Parallels to America Today. Anyway, about a year or so ago, my wife bought me the book, which is actually like a long comic book. I finally got around to reading it last week, and have to say it blew me away. I highly recommend the book.
We all know that in many cases, the movie bites in comparison to the book. I don't think I can say either one is really superior in this case. For being a movie based upon a book, it was done very well, although there were still some variations. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who takes me up on it and actually reads the book, so I'll keep it short. The thing I like most about the book is that at the end, it does a much better job of portraying the idea of being able to kill a person, but not an idea. In this case, freedom is the idea, one that dwells deep in the soul of everyone, though many do not act on it because of fear and laziness.
I want to give you a few snippets of conversation in the book. The first is between V and Evey, after he has let her out of the prison cell.
Evey: You did this to me. . . .
V: Because I love you. Because I want to set you free.
Evey: Because? Set me free? Don't you realize? Don't you realize what you did to me? You nearly drove me mad, V!!
V: If that's what it takes, Evey.
Evey: I hate you. I hate you because you just talk junk and you think you're so good that you don't have to make any sense! You say you love me and you Don't because you just frighten me and torture me for a joke . . . You say you want to set me free and you put me in a prison . . .
V: You were already in a prison. You've been in a prison all your life.
Evey: Shut up! I don't want to hear it! I wasn't in prison! I was happy! I was happy here until you threw me out.
V: Happiness is a prison, Evey. Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.
Evey: That's warped! That's warped and evil and wrong! When you threw me out I went to live with somebody. I was in love with him. I was happy. If that's a prison, then I don't care!
V: Don't you? Your lover lived in the penitentiary that we are all born into, and was forced to rake the dregs of that world for his living. He knew affection and tenderness but only briefly. . . Eventually, one of the other inmates stabbed him with a cutlass and he drowned upon his own blood. Is that it, Evey? Is that the happiness worth more than freedom?
Evey: How did you know? How did you know what happened to Gordon?
V: It's not an uncommon story, Evey. Many convicts meet with miserable ends. . . Your mother. Your father. Your lover. One by one, take out behind the chemical sheds . . . and shot. All convicts, hunched and deformed by the smallness of their cells; the weight of their chains; the unfairness of their sentences. . . I didn't put you in a prison, Evey. I just showed you the bars.
Evey: You're wrong! It's just life, that's all! It's how life is! It's what we've got to put up with. It's all we've got.. What gives you the right to decide it's not good enough?
V: You're in a prison, Evey. You were born in a prison. You've been in prison so long, you no longer believe theres a world outside.
Evey: Shut up! You're mad! I don't want to hear it!
V: That's because you're afraid, Evey. You're afraid because you can feel freedom closing in upon you. You're afraid because Freedom is terrifying . . . .
The second is short, the speakers not connected except in message, though on opposite sides of the spectrum. Don't know the female character, but the other is V.
V: It does not do to rely too much on silent majorities, Evey, for silence is a fragile thing . . . one loud noise, and it's gone.
???: But the people are so cowed and disorganized. A few might take the opportunity to protest, but it'll just be a voice crying in the wilderness.
V: Noise is relative to the silence preceding it. The more absolute the hush, the more shocking the thunderclap. Our masters have not heard the people's voice for generations, Evey. . . and it is much, much louder than they care to remember.
The third comes in later in the chaos. Brief quote.
"Authority, when first detecting chaos at its heels, will entertain the vilest schemes to save its orderly facade . . . but always order without justice, without love or liberty, which cannot long postpone their world's descent to pandemonium."
So, think about the words above. Many of us live in prisons, and don't even know it. Look for the bars. Wave your hands around all over so you can feel them if for some reason you can't see them. Realize they are there, and once you do, you can become free. Once you have decided to become and remain free, be loud about it. In the past couple of years Americans have made noise louder than many can remember. We aren't loud enough yet. Speak up and act free. Never forget that the sound of freedom scares tyrants, who will try to crush it as they would crush chaos. Stand your ground. Their world will fall.
Be free. Speak free. Act free.