The Great Heroes

Who fights for what, how, and where?

The great heroes in action

When one thinks of a hero what do they imagine? Superman, batman, military, or even perhaps their local firemen or police officer; it's very true that all of these people possess a hero quality but true heroism is brought in times of great discomfort. Especially in times of dystopia or mass hysteria, which is the case for the two heroes “V” for Vendetta and Edward R. Murrow the legendary reporter of CBS. Each presented interesting personas, showing panache and a sense of showmanship like no other in their respective timelines. Murrow spoke out against the McCarthy organization about the red scare and urged the citizens to not be sucked into the media’s temptations and the mainstream voice of propaganda. “V” the swash buckling vigilante of dystopian England actively fights the overpowered government with swords, bombs, and vendetta and rallies the people to take charge of their country and overthrow the Norse Fires. Both Murrow and “V” call out the people while also to blaming them for the horrific state of their country. Where they are different are how they want to achieve their goals and they have a distinct differences in how they present themselves to the general public.

These two heroes are so different, when comparing them side by side it is bright as day trying to separate their characteristics. Each of them in their speech gives off an array of vibes that are on opposite side of the spectrum. “V” comes off as your friendly neighbor, someone who wants to be a friend and knows what they feeling, such as when he said,”I do like many of you enjoy the comforts of everyday routine...” The context of the speech along with his tone makes the speech more appealing and so the audience won’t feel offended or scared; “like many of you” is showing that V is try to relate to people to show that he not so different from them. Now Edward Murrow on the other hand comes out with guts and no fear in what consequences might be in store for him by saying, “A few people may accuse this reporter of fouling his own comfortable nest.” He shows guts when he says “fouling his own comfortable nest which is referring to how he is putting his reputation on the line knowing that all the odds are against him. So while V appeals to the audience by trying the sympathize with them Murrow shows the audience how gutsy to is by putting what is most dear to him in stake. Next the way the want to achieve their goals are basically opposites, “V” wants a revolution while Murrow wants societal changes. “Last night I destroyed the old bailey, to remind this country of what is has forgotten.” So when V used the word “destroyed” to characterize his actions, which shows he wants to use violence but when he says “remind what has been forgotten” shows he wants to use that violence for good to bring society back from the dead. Murrow,”let us exalt the importance of ideas and information.”Murrow uses more preachable words like “exalt” or to lift in high regards, and the words like “ideas” and “information” shows that he is talking about morals and mentalities. So he wants to put morals in high regards to create a societal change in the nation.

But as different as these two maybe they are still fighting to achieve the greater good, to change society in some way shape or form. Both “V” and Murrow use the guilt factor or putting the citizens responsible for the reason why society is in such a destroyed state. Murrow, “But unless we get up off our fat surpluses” he point out that the people are in such a lazy state as he defines as “fat surpluses” and that it has made the people blind to the distractions of media. “V” says,”But again truth be told if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only to look into a mirror.” He specifically uses the word “mirror” to show that part of society’s downfall was due to them, so people will think of their physical reflections and take a good hard look at themselves. So V and Murrow both place a guilt on society, V by making them question and think of their life by looking into their reflection and Murrow by calling people lazy in hope waking them up to what they been truly sucked into. Of course they didn’t have all this talk without calling people to do something about it. “V” remarks, “stand beside me..we shall give them a 5th of november that shall never be forgotten”. When he uses “never be forgotten” is places a huge significance on how much of an impact it will make on society, so that will make people more curious on the grand change or excited for the coming revolution and make them want to join. Murrow preaches on about the battle that need to be fought, he calling the citizens to join him in this fight to rid society of these damaging characteristics and add in something worthwhile, “There is a battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference.” Murrow uses negative words like “intolerance” and “ignorance” that need to be fought, by saying these things are in society and they need to be dealt with will make people more motivated to do something about it. Both men say specific words like “fought” or “never forgotten” to emphasize the seriousness of the matter so people will be more influenced to do something about it.

Like the color of water heroes don’t have a definitive shape or form but takes the form that is most appropriate given the situation. In “V” case he is locked in society that follows the government like sheep in field so he needs to get their attention by doing something drastic and so the violent vigilante came into play. Murrow was in time of mass hysteria and cowardice by the citizens to do anything so Murrow rose up as the voice of reasoning, encourage people by means of logic and sense.

Principle, aspiration, & function

V's and Murrows message

V’s purpose is to simply show people the truth to bring them back into the light and have fear corrupt them no more. “And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression”, are V’s words to the people. Now if England is sovereign society, V’s remark wouldn’t be all that big of a deal but in the nation of Norse fire ,where the government controls everything that the people hears in media and the people assume everything's just peachy, it makes quite a problem. People will first start to wonder and question why “there is something terribly wrong with the country.” And then the V’s words will echo through their minds “cruelty” and “injustice” and they will start to think for themselves and notice exactly how they’ve been living their lives. That is what V really wants for people to see the truth to plant a seed in their head and make them question the government. Not just to make them revolt but for them to regain their humanity. It is just naturally human to have a skeptical mind and doubt certain ideas. Norse Fire has taken that away for many people so V wants to plant that seed in their minds so they can slowly but surely regain what they’ve lost and become human again.

As for Murrow he wants to show people how they’ve been so blinded by the mainstream media and encourage them to turn the tables and use media for actual good. In the final lines of Murrow’s speech he says,” This instrument can teach, it can illuminate, and yes, it can even inspire. But it can do do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night and good luck.” Murrow lists all the potential good that media can provide, so that people may have a clearer idea of good media. Then he kind of puts down a brainstorm-er where he says,” But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it” which is implying that society hasn’t been using media to its full ability. Society has lost so much self-control over their perception of media that it took someone to come out on national TV and remind them that in reality that they are in control of what happens with the media, not the government, not the producers, and certainly not Joe McCarthy, who caused this whole commotion in the first place. Murrow especially makes an impact when saying that the media if not used properly are just “wires and lights in a box.” Murrow is making people believe that what they paid money for, what they depend on to get the latest news, what they watch almost every night is useless. That is going make people question and want change and take action to make it so that they themselve don’t turn useless by watching meaningless programs.

Both of these men are warning current society to be wary of the powers and influence that big media or big powers like government have. In each of their speeches they mention that their society has become too comfortable with life as it is now, Murrow says,”We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable, and complacent” and V says,”comforts of everyday routine.” Both are mentioning their failed state to warn the current society to stay vigilant and not to wane any further. Looking at society today with the entire social media network having so much content and news it very hard to tell for the average person to consider what news is anymore and it is very easy to just play it off as another post by another user. That’s harmless with simple things such as social media but when if this kind of mentality continues with big issues like elections, major decision polls, and political issues, the current society’s future may end up looking very similar to those of Murrow and V.