Chapters 3 & 4

Summary: Chapter 3: Victims

Finch eyes a “V” scrawled on the train’s window and finds a Violet Carson, a type of rose thought to be extinct. Evey recounts her memories of a recent nuclear war that ravaged Britain and much of the world, along with all that happened after, including widespread environmental degradation and her mother’s death. She also recalls the rise of Britain’s fascist Norsefire party, which retained postwar order but wiped out anyone it considered to be undesirable: Black people, Jewish people, immigrants, gay people, and social dissidents, including her father. Later, Lewis Prothero wakes up in a uniform below a sign that reads, “Larkhill Resettlement Camp.”

Summary: Chapter 4: Vaudeville

The chapter opens in the Shadow Gallery, where V simulates scenes from Larkhill for Prothero, who served as its commander and worked ovens for corpses. Prothero pleads with V, saying he’s not to blame for the crimes committed there, but V shows him the compound where scientists conducted horrific experiments, including on V, while he was imprisoned in room V, or 5. Prothero becomes deranged, especially when V burns Prothero’s dolls in the ovens, and after he’s freed, Prothero can no longer serve as the voice of The Voice of Fate.

Analysis: Chapters 3 & 4

As the government scrambles to explain away the destruction of Parliament, the idea of control as a veneer is introduced. As long as the government can convince the populace that the state has power and control, they maintain it. If that image of stability is damaged and the cracks are made visible, the hold over the populace weakens. With the demolition of Parliament, this perception of invulnerability is compromised. As is portrayed in the art at the beginning of each section, this illusion of impenetrability is the first domino to fall in V's assault on the government. 

Lewis Prothero is another vehicle for propaganda that is damaged in this section. As the "Voice of Fate," he is the voice of the government's radio transmission, an inescapable component of people's lives, as well as a source of consistency, albeit an ominous one. When V kidnaps Prothero, that consistency is broken. Even if people do not like what they hear over the radio, they have grown used to his voice existing in their lives. Now, the spell that the government cast is broken, once again allowing a creeping doubt about the overwhelming, unassailable power it has claimed. V's assault on the power of the media is an important, pointed critique on the role of media within the society in which the book was produced, and remains relevant to our contemporary times.