V for Vendetta notes

England/UK (the names are used interchangeably which must really annoy the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish) is ruled by a fascist totalitarian government that has its iron grip on all aspects of daily lives. It is repressive, with a curfew from 10.30 pm to 5.30 am, and secret police that patrol the streets. Video and audio surveillance is ubiquitous (as it is in London today).

It is some time in the future: the “Voice of London” refers to USA as in tatters and mentions “20 years ago”. The rant about minorities – Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists. Disease-ridden degenerates. They had to go. – tells us we are not in a tolerant, multi-racial society but in a society purged of all that do not fit a narrow description. Reminiscent of Nazi Germany

There is one TV service and it is controlled by the government which feeds propaganda to the public. Everyone watches the same programme. The ‘Voice of London’ is actually the mouthpiece of the government, and since it is so hectoring and abusive, this tars the government with the same brush.

V’s monologue, when meeting Evey: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villian by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. (he carves a “V” into a sign) The only verdict is vengence; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. (giggles) Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

There seem to be few cars – perhaps gas is in short supply.  When V cooks breakfast for Evey, she remarks that she hasn’t seen butter since she was a child – food shortages are also in place. Both Gordon and V are forced to hide their proscribed art – and indeed their real selves.

Count of Monte Cristo (movie V and Evey watch) – In both stories, the hero escapes an unjust and traumatic imprisonment and spends decades preparing to take vengeance on his oppressors under a new persona

British (UK flag)

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England Flag

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UK/England Flag in V for Vendetta

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Reichstag Fire
The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on February 27th, 1933. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were plotting against the German government and the event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.

The fire started in the Session Chamber of the Reichstag building, the assembly location of the German Parliament. The day after the fire Hitler asked for and received from President Hindenburg the Reichstag Fire Decree. The Reichstag Fire Decree suspended most civil liberties in Germanyand was used by the Nazis to ban publications not considered “friendly” to the Nazi cause. Despite the fact that Marinus van der Lubbe claimed to have acted alone in the Reichstag fire, Hitler, after having obtained his emergency powers, announced that it was the start of a Communist plot to take over Germany. Nazi newspapers blared this “news”.

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Key Terms in Po-Co Theory

postcolonialism (post-colonialism, Post Colonialism)

binary
canon (DWG lit) – what gets included or excluded from the canon
centre/margin (periphery)
discourse
hegemony
imperialism
“noble savage”, from Rousseau’s A Discourse on Inequality (1755)
othering
“savage/civilized” dichotomy
UNIVERSAL

Dystopias, Postcolonialism, and Dead White Guy Lit

Today we looked at the historical and literary allusions within Atwood’s 2007 article. Students contributed to small groups before sharing their master list with the class.

Tomorrow we will be looking at the following concepts:

postcolonialism (post-colonialism)

binary
canon
centre/margin (periphery)
discourse
hegemony
imperialism
“noble savage”, from Rousseau’s A Discourse on Inequality (1755)
othering
“savage/civilized” dichotomy

Sources for handouts:
Ashcroft, B. et al. (1989). The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. New York: Routledge

Ashcroft, B. et al. (1998). Post-Colonial Studies: The Key Concepts. New York: Routledge.

Margaret Atwood’s Introduction to BNW

In the paperback copies of “Brave New World”, you will see an introduction by Margaret Atwood.  Those of you with the hardcover copies can read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/nov/17/classics.margaretatwood

Originally published in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday, November 17, 2007.

1. Using the Cornell Notes system, please write down any historical or literary allusions, new terms to research, or questions about the article.

2. Venn diagram – three circles – 1984, BNW, today

 

John

John states ‘I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.’ Mustapha Mond says this is ‘claiming the right to be unhappy’.
Relate this interaction to themes of the novel overall.