Twisted Forest – Thomas Örn Karlsson
Effective Alternatives: How V for Vendetta Provides a Relatable, Presentist Examination of Propaganda
University of Regina
Abstract | “Effective Alternatives: How V for Vendetta Provides a Relatable, Presentist Examination of Propaganda” takes the time to look at the subgenres of alternate histories and dystopic futures as tools to analyze the effects of propaganda and counterpropaganda. Using both the graphic novel by Alan Moore and subsequent film adaptation of V for Vendetta as a case study, the essay articulates that the genres of alternate history and dystopia are inherently “presentist”, providing criticism of the era the works were made. Moore wrote his acclaimed graphic novel at the height of Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister of Great Britain and used it as a warning for the potential devastating affects her policies could have. The 2005 film adaptation, directed by James McTeigue, took the same criticisms but placed them in a more contemporary setting, amended for a Western world following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The essay spends time discussing types of propaganda, notably “agitative” and “integrative” propaganda as defined by Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell. Ultimately, it makes the claim that works like V for Vendetta are both useful and relatable when addressing issues at a multi-generational disconnect, such as World War II to now.
Keywords | Propaganda; Moore; allohistorical; dystopia; vendetta.