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Written by Timothy Sexton
Guy Fawkes Mask
The most recognizable symbol in V for Vendetta is the one element of the story that even those who have neither read it nor seen the movie is familiar with: the Guy Fawkes mask. The mask draws upon the historical act of rebellion in which Guy Fawkes tried—and failed—to blow up the British House of Parliament. Although the actual politics linking that act to the symbolism of the mask is muddled the simulated face of Fawkes is endowed with an undeniable power for those looking for revolution, insurrection, anarchy and rebellion if only because of the anonymity it affords.
Lady Justice Statue
The iron statue at the Old Baily known as Lady Justice is invested with historical symbolism as a representation of the solidity and constancy and dependability of law to ensure justice. The statue remains a symbol of this to the majority of those living in London under the Norsefire government. The oppressive quality of the law as applied by that government makes Lady Justice a symbol of the law as the agent of injustice for V, however.
The Letter "V"
The letter V is likewise endowed with contrasting symbolic meaning that varies according to perspective. V represents the ultimate victory of rebellion against a repressive regime and so becomes a calling card for anarchic acts already committed and an inspiration left behind for future rebels to join the cause. At the very same time, the very same symbol represent nothing more than the thuggish behavior of those wishing to vandalize not the surfaces on which the letter is left behind, but what authorities seem as acts of vandalism against their ideology, their power and ultimately their very authority.
The Voice of Fate
The Fate Computer is a machine that produces the news that is read to the people every night by Lewis Prothero. The computer itself is not given the power of speech, but comes to acquire that power secondhand through the voice of Prothero which is powerful and convincing and instantly recognized by everyone. Eventually, the distinction between the machine that makes the news and the man who reads it becomes so blurred that the man becomes the Voice of Fate and through that identification in the minds of the people, the Voice of Fate becomes the symbol of the overwhelming strength and power of the Norsefire government...until the very human qualities of Prothero are revealed after he is kidnapped by V.
The Body Politic
The various parts of the Norsefire government are each given the name of a body part that infuses it with symbolism. The lead of the government is the Head, of course, while the intelligence gathering force is referred to as the Eye. Along with the Ear, Finger and Nose the significance of this symbolism is to the power that comes with personification. On the one hand, when the government is referred by these parts, it has the effect of transforming it into singular character from a literary perspective. At the same time, much like with the controversial judicial decision declaring corporations to possess the same rights as human individuals, for the characters in the story these body part substitutions have the cumulative effect of giving the oppression regime a sense of shared humanity
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