1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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How is the movie V for Vendetta related to the book 1984 ? What shows the movie is related to the book, specific quotes or events ?

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Yes, the graphic novel series V for Vendetta by Alan Moore is very much like the novel 1984 by George Orwell.

  • Both works are Juvenalian satires against totalitarian governments, namely the controlling parties (the Norsefire party vs. the Inner Party).
  • Both works focus on the cruelties perpetrated by the secret police.
  • Both works focus on the fear spread by a leader's intimidating, ubiquitous face: (Adam Susan vs. Big Brother)
  • Both works focus on the spread of state terrorism against the common public.
  • Both works focus on Great Britain as a country in the crossfire of terrorism from within and outside.
  • Both works focus on a common man (Winston) and woman (Evey) who become victims of the state's cruelties.
  • Both works focus on the invasion of privacy by the state against the individual ("Eye" — the agency that controls the country's CCTV system in V; the telescreens in 1984.)
  • Both works focus on rhymes as links to the past:

In V, it's: "Remember, remember / The fifth of November / The gunpowder treason and plot. / I know of no reason / Why the gunpowder treason / Should ever be forgot."

In 1984, it's: "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clement's, You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St Martin's."

  • Both works focus on the torture of their protagonists by an experienced terrorist (V, O'Brien).
  • The main difference is that in V for Vendetta is revenge fantasy.  In it, we have a hero, V, who guides Evey to defeat the state.
  • V tortures Evey as an initiation into the underground, and it makes her stronger.  O'Brien uses the imaginary underground (Goldstein) as a lure to torture Winston, and it defeats him.
  • 1984 ends with Winston becoming an unperson: he has no mentor or guide.  In fact, who he thinks is his guide, O'Brien, turns out to be his torturer.

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