This is a graphic comic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd that is set in the future United Kingdom imagined from 1980-1990. It traces the path taken by a mysterious masked person that destroys all those in government that were involved in the torture of people in the concentration camps. He also wants to destroy the totalitarian government, and hand back the power to the people. The character V in the story uses violence to exert revenge on his enemies, government and force people to take governance into their own hands. There is a thin line between a terrorist and freedom fighter, so it is hard to distinguish whether the acts of violence by V are in the name of terrorism or freedom fighting for the people (Moore& Llyod, 5).
Violence is condoned in this story, because the main character V commits various atrocities and subjects his enemies to violence in vengeance, but his violence pales in comparison to what the State has done. To concentrate and increase its power, it has taken the church as a branch in its administration and uses a divide and rule policy. People speaking out against the government in an authoritarian state face dire consequences, like the television personality that was killed for speaking against the leadership of the state. The government terrorizes rapes, kills and spies on its people, and blames it on the vigilante. V’s violence maybe construed as freedom fighting as he seeks to punish those in government responsible for the terrible atrocities suffered by the people (Ballias, 207).
V was in an involuntary medical experiment, carried out by the Dr, Delia Surridge in the concentration camps. He was the only survivor of these experiments, and they caused various anomalies in the other inmates who succumbed to death. This essay compares the minority groups in the concentration camps in Europe, and the placement of V and his compatriots in Lark hill concentration camps in the book V for vendetta. The British were placed in those camps, and were punished for being political extremists. Those who opposed the authoritarian rule of the states found themselves in the concentration camps such as Lark Hill. The experiments included injections of artificially designed hormones. All the subjects of these experiments died apart from V, who eventually escapes from the camp. The injections had some bad effects, but also enhanced his reflexes and strength. His mental capacity also improved as is demonstrated in his genius depictions in many fields. He makes mustard gas and napalm which he detonates the night of his escape. Through those medical experiments, V lost most his memory bust is still tormented by the experiences which is something that fuels his vengeance. The torture in the camps created the terrorist he is and was most probably put in the camp due to political agitation. He claims he was put there because he was “undesirable” (Moore & Llyod, 8).In the novel, Dr. Delia Suridges conducted experiments on camp in mates, where V was one of them. The cruelty of these medical experiments is extremely inhumane. V was able to escape and punish the perpetrators of such acts.
These concentration camps in the novel are based loosely on the Nazi ones during the holocaust. The first concentration camps in Germany were started in 1953, for the confinement of those who opposed the Nazi party (mainly communists and social democrats). Soon this opposition included minority groups, mainly Jews. After the World War II outbreak, the inmates were used to provide supplementary labor and their wages were in the form of food, so those who could not work, died of starvation. Some camps became extermination camps, for example, Auschwitz and Treblinka, while in other camps; they conducted medical experiments on the inmates. The physicians in this camps conducted painful and deadly experiments on the camp inmates. Most of these experiments were modes of getting ways to help injured German military officers. There were freezing tests to determine treatment for hypothermia and low pressure chambers to check the attitudes from which the crews can safely parachute.
The other medical experiments included testing of pharmaceuticals, and treatment methods of various illnesses. There were also experiments to advance the crazy racial ideologies conducted by the infamous Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. He experimented on twins and gypsy children to investigate treatment for noma (some type of cancer). The children suffering from noma were killed; heads removed and sent in jars for further analysis in Austria. He selected Jews from various camps that had dwarfism and other inborn disabilities. When he was experimenting on twins and people with disabilities, at the end of that phase of experiments he had them killed and kept the organs that were necessary for his experiments. He murdered people for his research materials through autopsies.
Other perpetrators of these insane acts were also the administrators of the camps. In V for Vendetta, the camps’ commandant is Lewis Prothero the pedophile vicar. The inmates at this camp not only suffered the physical pain from the experiments but the sexual abuse from the administrator, who was supposed to the spiritual guide for the camp. He left the camp, after V’s escape and became a radio broadcaster, spreading propaganda for the State. V finds him in train, kidnaps him and takes him to stage set up like Larkin hill where he injects him with the same drugs that were used on V and the other inmates in the concentration camps. Burning of his doll collection drives him completely crazy and he disappears and never heard from again. In the holocaust, apart from the criminal scientist there were also other administrators in the camps that treated the inmates very inhumanely. In Buchenwald camp, there were claims of lampshade production with human skin found in the house of a camp administrator, first commandant Col. Karl Otto Koch. His wife IIse was a guard at the camp and later an overseer, who was very sadistic and extremely cruel to the camps inmates. She made lampshades, book covers and gloves from human skin. She selected inmates who had tattoos and other unique markings on the skin had them killed and tanned their skin that was stored for use by other SS guards (The Nizkor Project 1). V survived the concentration camp’s suffering and was adversely affected by that. When he starts his vengeance, he tracks down all those that tormented him in the concentration camps and kills them one by one. The murders are well calculated, and he uses similar methods that were used on him and the inmates in the camps to kill these people. The doctor that gave them hormonal injections and performed medical examinations on them was killed with a lethal injection. About 6 million Jews were killed in the holocaust, and those who survived and got out of the camps were forever wounded by what they went through. The writers of this novel use literally allusions to reference historical events within the book. They are vital in the story, and are placed there intentionally. It serves as a reminder of what unchecked state power can do to people and their loss of identity in the struggle for freedom.