Monday, September 2, 2013
A Review of 'V for Vendetta' by Alan Moore and David Lloyd
Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which revels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendetta brings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance."
I've been meaning to read this for a while! Since Watchmen made me so angry, I figured that I should give him another chance. He really is adept at telling a killer story.
This time, instead of becoming angry, I don't really know what to feel. 'V for Vendetta' talks about a society that, instead of turning into the society that it is today, anarchy reigns. So V begins telling Evey about anarchy and why we need it. He explains it as the path to true freedom: no one to enforce rules, just the allowance to build the world that we want; destroying the old and creating new from the rubble that remains. It's like society is a phoenix.
The most unsettling thought in this book, to me, is the separation of anarchy and chaos. V explains that it is anarchy if there is no authority. It is chaos when bad things happen because of this lack of authority. I feel as though that isn't true. If there isn't someone to set an example or at least to enforce the rules that have been created for this particular society, who's to stop those who want to push their freedom to its limits? It seems that chaos is bound to follow once an anarchy is put into place.
Needless to say, I don't think anarchy is the answer for the world. If change must be made (and there's quite a laundry list of change that needs to happen), we need to fight for it and draw attention to it. Nothing will be fixed if we start anew. Many of the same people will be there. You can't erase hatreds that have existed for thousands of years, it will take a lot of time to recover from war and rebuild a crippled society...
But like I said, this book left me not really knowing what to think. Alan Moore did have some good points... or interesting points, at least. A lot of them are the same points I mentioned above. This makes the book confusing and I don't know what to think. In some situations, you can destroy something to create something new. The image that came to mind almost immediately was a painting. You start with a blank canvas and then you put a lot of time in it so that it looks like something. But if you change your mind about what you want to paint or you hate what you've put a lot of effort into, you can paint over the painting to create something new.
It's a weak image...
With this same painting, you can work with what you have, working to make it better, changing it as you see fit. And maybe that's better. You waste less paint that way...
This is a book that I will need to read again sometime. Now that I've had a first reading, maybe I'll get more out of this book.
Overall, this is a truly powerful book and it will take some time to work through your brain, I think.
I give 'V for Vendetta':