Friday, November 7, 2008

Viva la Revolution: Happy Guy Fawkes day!

Before I begin, it must be known that I am well aware today is the 7th, not the 5th of November, but the knowledge of a three month worry-free holiday until uni starts has seen all things travel at a slower pace. And woooohoooo for that!

Without further adieu;

“Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder, treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.”
Traditional rhyme recited on Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes was a Catholic revolutionary in the early 17th Century who, in his attempts to carry out the Gunpowder plot to blow up Parliament House and rid England of it's anti-Catholic sentiments, became an icon for those fighting against political absolutism and oppression.

In V for Vendetta, where I came to know of Fawkes, he symbolised the fight for freedom and democracy in a dystopian society run by a totalitarian dictatorship. He provides hope to those in the face of oppression that freedom can be achieved, because as V says in the film;
"Beneath this mask there is more than flesh... Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof."
Quote from the film, V for Vendetta
Director James McTiegue sums up the pertinence of the film as a reflection of the current political climate;
"It really showed what can happen when society is ruled by government, rather than the government being run as a voice of the people. I don't think it’s such a big leap to say that things like that can happen when leaders stop listening to the people."

V for Vendetta is a striking film with an important message. As global citizens, we have a responsibility to maintain a questioning awareness of the goings on in our world; our political leaders, social and technological advances, and even moral development.
Without this human right, we could find ourselves in our very own distopian society that George Orwell so vividly depicts in his novel 1984. A situation where humans are effectively brainwashed to believe;

"War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength."
George Orwell's 1984.

I believe Guy Fawkes Day should be a time to reminisce "humanity's most precious achievement: freedom" as Mario Vargas Llosa discusses in The Culture of Liberty and remember those in our history who fought for what we often take for granted.

There are many figures like Fawkes who have received great acclaim for paving the path we now travel upon. Guy Fawkes Day is the time to acknowledge his.

Viva la Revolution!


Stephanie M. Hasty said...

I absolutely love V for Vendetta as I love most things dystopic! and, yes, i am rummaging around your blog, as I am enjoying the reads.

Maryann Wright said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments. One of the best compliments a journalist/blogger can hear is that people enjoy reading what they write. :)