- Books, Literature, and Writing
Word of the Day - Voliloquy
We are first introduced to the character V in the movie "V for Vendetta" when he comes to the rescue of Evey (Natalie Portman's character). After dispatching the villains attacking her, he proceeds to introduce himself in a very long alliterative soliloquy (of sorts). It isn't technically a soliloquy since it is directed at Evey but it serves the very similar purpose of introducing some of the inner workings of a character to the audience. Because the soliloquizing character is named V and the alliteration is based on the letter V, I like to call his speech a voliloquy.
There are a number of reasons for which I like this movie but a main reason for doing so is simply because of the words. Words matter. And they can contain so much; truth and beauty or unfortunately hatred and lies. Words matter perhaps more now than ever before. There are so many of them that we are figuratively swimming in a sea of them. We fill ourselves up with them for every breath we take. In another speech during the movie, V makes this very same point:
But doesn't V go around killing people with knives and blowing things up? Yes, this movie isn't only about a poet. Words matter - but, they can also be taken. And that is the other point of the movie. There is a "last inch" of ourselves that we can never let be taken; a last inch that in the end is perhaps all that really matters. One woman in the movie expresses her last inch through a profession of love to a stranger she will never meet or know, while V expresses it through gleeful flourishes of his knives and through explosions (with orchestral accompaniments).
On December 17, 2010 Mohamed Bouazizi took the last inch of himself and lit it on fire in Tunisia, burning his protest into the air for everyone to see; unspoken words that every single one of us can understand. The ashes of his sacrifice have been carried all over the world and people who have spent too long being told to stand silent can hear Bouazizi's symbolic words in the wind; one part love for strangers he will never meet and one part fire to burn the iron hand that has held on too long and too tight. Words matter. Sometimes I forget. I am happy for the reminder and yet terribly sad for the way in which it came.