V and Murrow Speech Analysis

Written by Min Choi


Propaganda is everywhere throughout modern history from the Fifties to the present day in 2016 but a majority of citizens don’t even know that they’re subject to these messages daily. V and Edward R. Murrow’s speeches, in their respective time periods, gave speeches enlightening citizens of their countries to not believe what’s in front of their eyes.

V’s BTN Speech has many purposes, but his main purpose is to inform the citizens of London about the corrupt actions of the government. He introduces to everyone with the mundane routines of the citizens and points out how they’re mindlessly following their cycles without question. Because the citizens have been following their circadian cycles they do not see the corruption of their government with the “censors and systems of surveillance” which shows dystopian characteristics of how the citizens are under constant surveillance. V also brings out another dystopian characteristic with his emphasis on the importance of words and their power to individuality. V then focuses on the “why” by bringing to llight on who is to blame and why the citizens did what they did, which was conforming silently to Sutler because “fear for the best of you…” In the final paragraph, V brings out his call to action: “...to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom...are perspectives.” V reminds the people of their individuality and their common sense to see the blemishes of their government.

Edwards R. Murrow spoke with a purpose of ignorance about the television. Murrow points out how US citizens have “...built an allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information” because no one recognizes that television is used to distract us from what’s actually going on in America. He also emphasises the importance of ideas and information shared publically to the US citizens by suggesting that instead of having a celebrity talk-show, we talk about controversial topics such as the state of American education or studies of the events in the Middle East. If the use of TV is only limited to entertainment and amusement, then the struggle of understanding the state of America or knowing a little more about current events globally is lost to ignorance. America in the Fifties was focused on entertainment and advertising new technologies such as kitchenware and cars; however, Murrow wants us, the US citizens, to stay informed about certain topics important to America like education and global relations. His call to action in the last paragraph is giving potential uses for television to be used as an informal interest to relay information that can “...teach, illuminate, and... even inspire” viewers but since that decision is left to us, we are the only ones stopping ourselves from becoming a more informed and educated human.

Between the two speeches, V and Murrow have many similarities and differences in purpose and details. V focuses on getting the citizens of London to be more active with their words and sense of freedom with his emphasis on how “...words will always retain their power” and “Words offer the means to meaning” to rally citizens to speak freely about their beliefs and not conform to their suppressive government. Murrow; however, wants citizens of the US to be more passive and to understand the “...importance of ideas and information” by speaking out that television can be used to inform the citizens about important topics in America such as education and global relations. Their similarities are their main purposes: Murrow wanted to enlighten the American citizens to not blatantly believe everything they hear and keep themselves educated about global events. V, like Murrow, informed the citizens of London to not believe everything you see because , in V’s situation, the government wants one to think a certain way. Although V and Murrow have many more similarities and differences, the big picture of their main points are identical; however, their extent to how they fulfilled their purposes were different.

We must be careful about what we believe because propaganda is everywhere. The V and Murrow speech have a purpose to inform us to not mindlessly believe the propaganda but stay informed about the truth and think what we want to think to maintain our individuality.