V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore: Hero or Villain

We’ve all seen reports of terrorists on the news. They are the people who blow up government buildings. The ones who bomb places in a desperate effort to force the government to do what they want through violence. Terrorists have horrified society for decades. This leads to the gradual influx of terrorist characters into literature – usually as villains. Very rarely have they been shown as heroes, and V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore is no exception. While some contend that he is a hero, V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore is a villain due to his questionable motives and lack of empathy.

V’c controversial character

Moore’s character V’s uncertain morals and motives causes him to be a clear villain. V was tortured in a concentration camp, had awful things done to him. He was able to escape, but when he did, rather than moving on, he decided to kill each and every person who had been in Larkhill at the same time as him.

As the Norsefire official who discovered this says, “that’s pure bloody evil”. (72/3).

What would his motive be for these murders? Clearly, the underlying motive is revenge- a decidedly villainous motive. Proponents of V’s heroism argue that everything V did was in the name of the greater good. However, what they fail to consider is that it should not fall on V’s shoulders to be the arbitrator of the law. As it says in “Should Batman Kill the Joker”, by Mark White and Robert Arpjuly, while the Joker is “evil” he should be punished through “official procedures”, not “vigilante justice”.

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Even taking into account V’s claim that he is killing these few people for the needs of the many, that does not necessarily make him into a hero. According to Steven Pressfield, the author of “The Difference Between a Hero and a Villain”, committing “atrocious actions” in the name of the greater good has “led many would-be heroes astray” and often “causes more problems than it solves”.

Therefore, while V may say that he is working towards the greater good, and he may honestly think that he is, that does not make him a hero. Rather, V’s uncertain morals make him more of a villain. V condemns the government and attempts to take it down- and yet he seems to emulate them in a lot of ways. For example, V kills people who oppose his views- the “bloody lot of ‘em.” (72/1). The government does the same thing. Additionally, V has cameras watching the general public just like Norsefire. According to Evey, one can “see all of London” when watching the cameras. (220/4).

Worse than the cameras, though, is that while the government was at least honest with the fact that there was constant surveillance, V promised the people three days without anybody watching them – and then proceeded to watch them constantly. According to Tayyab Babar, the author of “10 Great Traits of Heroes”, one of the most “crucial traits” for a hero to have is “honesty”. V lies to everybody at one point or another. Due to these factors, V is most certainly a villain.

Evey’s Character

The lack of empathy V character demonstrates throughout the graphic novel is one of the key characteristics of his villainous attitude. Those who claim V is a hero contend that V cares about Evey. However, what they do not realize is that caring for one person does not justify killing dozens. Besides that, he is not much of a help to Evey anyway. First of all, he leaves Evey alone in the streets to be homeless, which Evey says herself “isn’t funny” and is, in fact, “horrible”. (100/3). V is horrible to Evey – and it only gets worse. When V finally does take Evey back, he decides to take her to a fake concentration camp – much like the one that drove both V and Prothero insane – and torture her.

Evey is devastated, sobbing that her tormentors “don’t need to do this”. (153/4). While V might convince himself that he cares for Evey, and maybe in some part of him he does, V’s awful treatment of her shows his true colors. V kills people, some of them innocent, with no regret. In fact, he seems proud of it, as if murder is some sort of achievement. Finch says it best when he exclaims that “whatever their faults”, the people V killed were “human beings” and V “slaughtered them like cattle”. (24/5). Heroes may kill occasionally when necessary, but they never feel happy about it. Clearly, V is no hero.

Some say that V is a hero due to his supposed motive of the greater good and his care of Evey, but due to his true motives, his uncertain morals, and his lack of empathy, V is a villain. This debate, however, brings up some interesting questions. What is the difference between a hero and a villain? Should one compromise their morals in order to get a job done? When it comes to V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, it seems that a possible anti-hero did compromise his morals to accomplish a job – and went just a bit too far, changing him from a hero to a villain.

 A Hero or a Villian

From this we can draw the conclusion that while it may occasionally be necessary to compromise one’s morals in order to accomplish something, one should avoid doing so whenever possible, and never forget who they are. Heroes do terrible things. They kill. They maim. They manipulate and trick and play dirty. But they do it all with a kind heart and a caring attitude. That is what defines a hero, not brave actions and daring feats of skill. That’s why V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore is not a hero, but villain. So when a challenge comes at you, make sure to stay true to who you are. It is all too easy to lose yourself in the murky land between light and darkness. After all, all it takes is one step to cross a line.

Cite this page

V in V for Vendetta by Alan Moore: Hero or Villain. (2022, Mar 30). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/v-in-v-for-vendetta-by-alan-moore-hero-or-villain/

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