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The tone in both stories is initially one of hopelessness. Winston and Evey each become disillusioned with their governments, and strive to fight back after falling in with charismatic conspirators, but the results are quite dissimilar. Winston is forced to accept that he has been ineffective at every turn, and never had any real chance of affecting a change, while Evey witnesses a genuine catalyst take place, and is inspired to continue fighting. This feeling of hope is not only germinated in the story’s protagonist, the general public is moved by V’s actions. The ultimate lessons from these stories are polar opposites; in V for Vendetta there is still hope despite all efforts to crush it, but in Nineteen Eight-Four there is no hope despite all efforts to start it.
The ability to make a difference is itself a difference between these fictional worlds. Orwell’s government is a self-perpetuating machine, and the steps are already in place to ensure its continued existence no matter who is in charge or what the political climate becomes; there is no single head that can be severed from a seat of power to disable or cripple that government. Winston and Julia try to be more than just victims of their environment but ultimately fail, because one person, two people, or even a revolution cannot undo the system. Society’s participation in that government is marginalized to the point that it makes no difference who opposes it. In contrast, Moore’s fascist state is run by a single man atop the pyramid of power, and when he is toppled, there is no one in a clear position to assume control. Evey and V are successful in their opposition, because in the world of V for Vendetta, one man can make a difference, even if that difference is only to serve as an inspiration for others to make their own differences.
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