“Remember, remember the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot, We see no reason. Why gunpowder treason. Should ever be forgot!”
But here is the thing, I feel its purpose has been forgotten. Sure people let off fireworks, but I feel like the importance of this act is no longer in the public eye, and this is what has led us to this almost laissez faire attitude when it comes to politics and the way our country is run!
Guy Fawkes and his companions were trying to end the persecution of Catholics by deposing of those in power of a different faith, they chose to do this by conspiring to blow up the houses of parliament whilst all members of parliament and the king were present. This plot was famously stopped, and the participants of the plot were executed.
Officially the foiled attempt is celebrated as a form of national patronage, this is of course because they failed to kill “our” King. It was then decreed that every 5th of November since the attempt was to be a reoccurring national event where those responsible are made examples of. This was originally done by burning effigies of Guy Fawkes in bonfires, leading to the coining the phrase “penny for the guy”, this later transitioned into fireworks to represent the black powder used in the failed attempt.
However, at the same time as this clear use of government propaganda, the event serves a reminder that the people can rise up and oppose the state if they feel it is not governed correctly. This point of view was popularised by Hugo Weaving in the 2005 film adaptation of V for Vendetta. Since then, the message has fallen into relative obscurity and the Guy Fawkes disguise has been adopted by Anonymous hacktivists.
However, with 2020 being like it has been, I wonder if people will look a little deeper into the meaning of this event than they have in previous years! What do you think?