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Comparing Dantikat's A Wall Of Fire Rising And Moore's V For Vendetta

2531 words - 11 pages

Imagine a world where civil liberties have been stripped away, a bare façade of civilization left behind. This is a world that is inhabited by people who were once free-willed and strong-minded. These people have become weak and obedient, easily bent to the will of their oppressive government. The world that these words have conjured up in your mind is the same existence that the characters occupy in Edwidge Danticat’s “A Wall of Fire Rising” and Alan Moore’s “V” for Vendetta. Danticat’s story is about a small family living in present-day Haiti with their small, ambitious son. The country is a mish-mash of people amassing obscene fortune while the rest scrape at the bottom of the proverbial barrel just to make ends meet; the class gap is seemingly far apart. In Danticat’s story, the husband spends his days either working at the sugarcane mill or searching for work elsewhere. Each day the husband watches the mill owner’s son take a hot air balloon up into the sky, and each day becomes more envious of the freedom attached to that action. After complaining to his wife about his exhaustion with their current situation he claims that he wants to take the hot air balloon for himself and leave Haiti for a far-away and better place. The following day, the husband makes good on his word, abandons his family, and takes the hot air balloon up into the sky. In James McTeigue’s version of “’V’ for Vendetta”, the country is a futuristic and dystopian London. Corrupt politicians control every aspect of the country and the citizens within. The main character, a masked vigilante by the name of V, grows tired of his country’s lack of freedom and decides to destroy an historic courthouse at midnight on the morning of November the 5th. The building is blown to pieces by explosives while fireworks and fanfare ring out the tune of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture through the public address systems of London. V takes control of the television studio the following day in order to take credit for his actions and to announce his vow to repeat the destruction one year from that date at the Parliament building. He asks that the nation stand beside him in his task and to help overthrow their corrupt government once-and-for-all.
Evaluation of these two stories will be based on elements found in works of drama, specifically: character, setting, and conflict. Character, as an element of drama, is a “person represented in an imagined plot” (Booth & Mays 1437). The characters being evaluated are the protagonists in each story. Setting is a device used by writers to “convey a sense of place” (Booth & Mays 1442). We will evaluate the similarities and differences between the settings of each story. The final evaluation point is conflict, and it is the “engine that drives [the] plot” (Booth & Mays 1440), without which there would be no shape to the dramatic structure of the play. After comparing these literary devices between the two stories, the argument can be made that “V” for...

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