“Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
the gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.”
Death is the great equalizer, what lies at the end of the path for all living things. But some people live on in a different way — though their bodies have ceased to function, their life-force no longer present, some people live on as a symbol, a message, an idea. V, the main character in the movie V for Vendetta, died fighting for the freedom of an entire country, and in doing so, he represented something greater than himself. The messenger was killed, but the message is immortal, stronger than ever…
In the movie, V stages a showdown with the dictator who rules over his country with an iron fist, in an attempt to end said dictator’s totalitarian regime of constant surveillance and oppression. V succeeds in ending his life; however, it is at the expense of his own.
Though V overcomes the Dictator’s brigade, they shot him until he was beyond saving. But not before he manages, with the help of a young woman named Evey, to send a train of explosives directly into Parliament, effectively ending the Dictator’s rule and giving the people a chance to build their country again. And though his life ended, V himself became immortal — as a symbol of hope and freedom, as an idea: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
V’s death is portrayed as relatively drawn out. Though he was shot well over 100 times, he manages to fight his way out, killing everyone in his way. He then makes his way to the tunnel where Evey and his train are waiting, finally dying once he reaches his destination… Evey surrounds his body in red roses. In reality, V would never have made it all the way to the train alive; the human body just cannot withstand that much damage. Though not particularly helpful in terms of society understanding the limits of the human body, it does add to the dramatic effect. However, the part about V living on as a symbol is very accurate. When a person dies for something greater than themselves, be it an idea or for other human beings, they often live on in history. In the same way, anyone who passes on is carried on in the memories of the people who loved them. I think this is a good realization to have about death… though the person may be gone from the physical world, we will always have our memories of them.