Quote 1

Our purpose is to survive. Whatever it takes.

This quote appears near the end of the second chapter of Book Two. Rosemary Almond's monologue takes up almost the entirety of the chapter's text. Her husband has been killed by V, and Rosemary realizes that she has no identity outside of the work her husband, Derek, did for the government. Rosemary is a woman who is wholly alone and feels adrift without her husband, even though he was emotionally and physically abusive toward her. After lamenting his loss, Rosemary comes to the conclusion that she cannot just disappear, even though she is tempted to. She must find a way to build a life of her own, as difficult and intimidating as the prospect is. As the narrative proceeds, Rosemary will break out of the muted emotional state that she lives in and take drastic actions to right a wrong she feels damaged by. By doing so, she unwittingly contributes to the work of the book's protagonists, as they work to break the hold of the fascist government.

Quote 2

Who can release me? Who's controlling and constraining my life, except . . . me?

This quote is from the end of Book Three, Chapter 4. Eric Finch, the investigator who has traveled to a prison camp to better understand V, has taken LSD. His hope is that breaking down his mind with drugs will mirror the breakdown of V's mind, which will allow Finch to find and apprehend V. During his hallucination, Finch finds himself in the same room that held V. Finch has come to regret the role he played in not only the administration of the camp, but the medical experiments that were carried out on prisoners, and, the narrative suggests, resulted in the creation of V. As Finch cowers in the hallucinated room, he wonders why he cannot escape and what is keeping him imprisoned. In an echo of Evey's breakthrough in previous chapters, he realizes that it is only himself that is keeping him afraid and unfulfilled. The quote serves as a sort of thesis statement for the story, as the lesson that V is attempting to convey through his destructive anarchy is that freedom is only rewarded to those willing to fight for it and eventually take it.


Anarchy wears two faces, both creator and destroyer. Thus destroyers topple empires; make a canvas of clean rubble where creators can then build a better world.

These words are spoken by V near the end of Book Three, Chapter 5. As part of his ongoing education and initiation of Evey, V explains over the course of the story the basic tenets of anarchy and the importance of the individual's ability to build their own life. Anarchy is set up as the antithesis of the government's fascism. Anarchy, V suggests, is the only course by which people can create a life of chosen order: they will choose what they want to do and how it will best contribute to the peaceful, fulfilling, and ongoing contented version of a society. But anarchy has two phases: the breaking down and the building up. V is an instrument of breaking down the forced order of the fascist state. The idea is that those who have done the breaking down will then step aside and allow those who are best equipped to build a new society to do so. That the book ends before the creation phase suggests the difficult, delicate balance needed for the "better world" to come to fruition.