A Clockwork Orange Essay: A Movie Analysis

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A Clockwork Orange A Movie Analysis

In 1962, Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange was published for the first time. This novel was an anti-utopian fable about the near future, where teenage gangs habitually terrorize the inhabitants of a shabby metropolis. The novel deals with the main focus that man is a sinner but not sufficiently a sinner to deserve the calamities that are heaped upon him. It is a comic novel about a man's tragic lot. (Bergonzi 152).

In 1971, Stanley Kubrick turned Burgess' novel into a 136 minute, color motion picture produced by Warner Brothers. The movie starred Malcolm McDowell as the young gangster guilty of rape and murder. Kubrick was both writer and director.

Stanley Kubrick
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The only difference is that due to time constraints, the film leaves out a few minor scenes of the droogs (Burgess' term for ruffians) committing acts of violence. The film is divided into three parts, as is the novel. The first part is the description of Alex's exploits in "ultraviolence." He and his fellow gang members (droogs) spend their time committing a series of rapes, robberies, and assaults, usually aimed at completely defenseless people. The attacks are pathological and random. The second part of the film is filled with a different sort of brutality. Alex is in prison, but still continues his violent ways. The authorities preach obedience, but Alex and the other inmates respond by attacking one another. Alex is sentenced to a new form of psychological treatment that transforms him into a parody of the perfect Christian. He behaves morally and follows the values that were forced upon him by the State. He has no free will to chose his own thoughts and actions. The third part occurs when Alex returns to the real world; a more peaceful and prosperous world, free of violence. Violence has been institutionalized. In the concluding vision Alex recovers and returns to the pleasures in bloody violence and the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven. (Gottlieb 271- 272)