V vs. Murrow
The Fight for Truth and Vengeance
Time and time again, rebellions take place against unjust rulers. V takes action against his government for partaking in unruly actions against its citizens. Throughout the film, V’s solution to this violation of justice is violence along with awareness. All of the citizens are affected by V’s actions, and the truth is overall revealed. In this speech specifically, V does his best in order to portray the importance of November 5th and return meaning to the historically significant date. He places importance on the usage of “words” and the “enunciation of truth”. Through his speech and diction, he frees himself and the country from the chains of surveillance and conformity. This quotation appeals to his audience by introducing a new connotation to the chosen words. Words are no longer just words, but instead have power and introduce authority. All words have the power to sway opinions and affect others, however, the real power in words comes from the underlying truth within one's diction. In addition, the enunciation of truth is far more emphasized and important than ever before due to the fact that those in power have taken advantage of it all. By exposing the government and announcing his revolt against it, he creates a sense of unity within the oppressed citizens. He overall uses his knowledge to share with his country that there is “[c]ruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression” against the citizens. This formal language gives authority to his words, and also makes his side of the argument more powerful. The strong use of diction aids the citizens in understanding the amount of power that the government has over them. He criticizes the guilty as well as announcing the official truth about what the government has done to him and many others. During his speech, he admits that “War, terror, [and] disease” were used against them, overall creating the opportunity for the government to take advantage of the citizens and their fear and confusion. This list of the various methods that the government used against the citizens aids in his argument by introducing multiple occurrences that prove his words to be justified. V wants to get across the point that the government is corrupt and did not earn the power that they are entitled to. In order to revoke the government of as much power as they can, V invites all citizens to His purpose is to increase unity within the citizens of London, as well as expose those who have done wrong to others.
During the 1950’s, Murrow attempted to expose his government and the House of Un-American Activities (HUAC) for overstepping their authority in the accusations of many allegedly accused communists. In this excerpt, Murrow focuses on the corruption of the media, specifically the radio and television. He believes that citizens of the United States have developed “an allergy to unpleasant and disturbing information” including the media. By saying this, Murrow means to elaborate on the idea that many citizens of the United States have become accustomed to hearing fabricated truths, small pieces of truth that have been twisted to the government’s satisfaction. He believes that we are illusioned by the television and those who work to provide the networks. In addition, by stating that “the weapon of television can be useful”, Murrow expresses his purpose in order to fix the purpose of television in order for it to portray the truth. Murrow puts emphasis on this sentence in order to imply the connotation that television has the ability to be useful, but instead is being used to do otherwise. He lets his audience know what it can do. He addresses the problem within his society, and then proposes to fix it and benefit his nation instead, while V presents an idea to destroy his government and seek vengeance. He is a strict believer in the concept that the government is manipulating the media in order to, "distract, delude, amuse and insulate" the citizens. Through this list of terms, Murrow is actually implying the idea that the public must be held responsible for their inattention to the truth, and blindly obeying the government-edited media. The actions that Murrow accuses the government of following through with imply his distrust in the government and how he believes that those who blindly follow the government will ultimately be lead to believe in the falsified information that is being spoon-fed to them. In the end, trusting in this government is what Murrow fears, for he would like the truth to be revealed about the government and its wrongdoings. His viewpoint is that the truth will shine light upon subject matters that will determine the country’s future, and altering the news will have detrimental effects. Murrow presents a call to action that expresses that the falsifying of news ultimately renders the main idea of television and radio useless.
Both pieces of work overall speak against the government in their respective times and locations and its wrongdoings. Their calls to action both invoke action from its audience as well as request change within their countries. Both V and Murrow “ask” for the country’s participation, however, while Murrow requests immediate action, V would like participation for November 5th of the following year. Murrow’s mindset is “would anything happen” if the truth was revealed? Through this rhetorical question, he is able to kindle a fire within the audience's mind in order for them to understand his point of view. Murrow believes that the truth will do no harm and that the resources that the government is misusing can be redirected and used for good. In a similar manner, V is in belief that the citizens will be more knowledgeable and will be benefited by revealing the truth about the government. The citizens continue to put their unconditional trust within the government, and they are unaware that they are being taken advantage of. The same goes for Murrow and his realization that the government is manipulating the media in order to take advantage of the citizens’ trust for their own personal image. Murrow takes action against his government in order to take advantage of the fact that, "history will be what we make it". By using inclusive language, he allows the audience to see things from his point of view and unites them together. By saying this, he would like to make sure that the history that is being made is in the hands of the citizens, not the hands of manipulating officials. They both see wrong being done within their countries against the government, despite their slight differences in opinion due to their time periods and events.
V believes in the idea of choosing wisely, while Murrow focuses on the idea of choice in itself. V does not believe his government made the right decision to gain their power, and therefore speaks upon making them pay for their actions. V’s final request and overall purpose is for the citizens to be aware of their government’s doings and for them to pay for it all. Citizens throughout the city continue to conform and give their "silent, obedient consent". This quotation attacks and scolds the audience for remaining silent and giving way to the government's requests of obedience.This has lead to nothing but increased fear and gives away the authority that rightfully belongs to the citizens. In contrast, Murrow speaks to the audience and puts emphasis on the audience’s choice of what they do with the information that they receive from the media. He wants to express the fact that if citizens do not speak up, then "this instrument [of choice] is good for nothing but to entertain, insulate, and amuse". This ultimately renders the citizens' voice in the government useless, allowing the government to have more power than guaranteed by official laws. The media is being manipulated for the sake of the government, and therefore twisting and falsifying the truth. Although the purpose of both speeches may be similar, they each hold qualities that speak directly to their audiences and situations. They both request change in the government and its actions, in order for no secrets to be kept, and for their trust to be rightfully earned.