A Clockwork Orange – New Testament for American Youth?
In Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, he observes a characteristic of youth that has been documented from the story of Icaris to the movie Rebel without a Cause. Through his ingenious method of examination of this characteristic, the sci-fi novel, he has created an aspect of what he chose to observe: Rebellion.
Our hero, Alex, begins the novel by explaining his mischeviouse exploits in a manner not far from nostalgia, that is tainted with a bit of sarcasm for any bleeding-heart pity one might feel for his victims, as when he recalls his own realization of the importance of the term, "A Clockwork Orange." Alex says of the author and his wife that he "would like to have …show more content…
The slang, Nadsat, is one of the undisputed aspects of genius in the novel, and is constantly used as a divider between people. In the Staja 84F, Alex runs across an old criminal, whom he doesn’t quite get along with, who has his own "old-time real criminal’s slang." As the criminal is describing his difficulty in acquiring a "poggy," Alex interjects with "(whatever that was, brothers)(CO 85)." By pointing out this barrier Alex is showing his contempt for his washed-up cellmate, and illustrating another aspect of the generation gap that even prison cannot bridge. This slang separates him from those older than him, and those younger than him too. The girls in the disc-bootick "had their own way of govoreeting. (CO46)" "Govoreeting" meaning "speaking" in Nadsat. These two devotchkas show that Alex and his subculture are being rendered obsolete even as he is in his prime.
Two versions of this novel
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Anthony Burgess’s novel, A Clockwork Orange, presents a struggle between animalistic urges and mechanistic society by way of the motif of a clockwork orange. Many would agree that a clock and an orange share little in common other than the fact that they may both be round. However, the organic nature of an orange combined with the precision and mechanics of a clock curiously imitates the way people respond to everyday influences. Anthony Burgess capitalizes on the differences between these two seemingly unrelated objects to present the connection between morality and conformity within the confines of the novel’s narrator, Alex. Throughout the three parts of the novel, it becomes more apparent that every seemingly harmless life can be manipulated by the clockwork of society. Alex is a young boy living in the near future, whose obsession with the brutality of the world around him causes him to act violently. The portrayal of the character Alex as both a protagonist and an antagonist highlights the psychological turmoil associated with conforming to society by sacrificing either morality for individuality or individuality for morality.
The human mind can be a delicate thing capable of extraordinary kindness, but it also has a skill for a high level of destruction and apathy. Within the dystopian novel, A Clockwork Orange, written by Anthony Burgess, the atrocities of an extremely violent subculture run by the futures youth is revealed. The novel is a satirical probe into the conscious of the troubled youth molded by a corrupt society, exploring the inability to be empathetic forming from corruption and the results of removing a person’s free will. The story follows Alex through a demented world full of violence, with a warped state government revealing its unethical methods in reforming society
The grace of evil in A Clockwork Orange is a recurring paradox throughout the novel and also implies a deep religious connotation. The main foci are the several aspects of evil, violence, and sexual acts committed by Alex and his gang members. However, Anthony Burgess has cleverly incorporated similar paradoxes to that of grace and evil, along with a different dialect to aid in masking the true harshness that lies underneath the violence. The other paradoxes include the extremes of night and day, good and bad, and black and white.
In Part 1, Chapter 4, Alex and his “droogs”, broke into a writer's home who ironically was writing A Clockwork Orange and raped his wife. HOME, signifies a memory that delineates to Burgess’s life. In 1944, Burgess’s first pregnant wife, Llewela Jones, was raped and beaten by American drunk soldiers, while Anthony was stationed in Gibraltar. Unfortunately, she had miscarried and later died-Burgess since then, believed the attack was the reason why she
The film, “A Clockwork Orange,” is, to me, an almost exact replica of today’s society. Basically, one kid, who seems to have come from a financially sound home and community, goes through about three stages--1. He violates the laws society has set forth to maintain order. 2. He is caught and punished for his crimes against society. 3. He feels remorse for his violence and sexually deviance (although, at the end of the film, he’s back to his old, delinquent self).
A Clockwork Orange portrays the concept of good versus evil. “It is usual to think of good and evil as two poles, two opposite directions, the antithesis of one another…. We must begin by doing away with this convention” (Buber: 1938). One has to disagree with Buber, good and evil are two opposite poles because they both deal with different aspects and values. The conflict amongst good and evil becomes difficult in A Clockwork Orange, since the novel actually presents the fight between enforced good and evil that is done voluntary. Alex is a teenager who gets a thrill
In his life, Anthony Burgess never had anything handed to him. He had to work for what he wanted. Although he wanted to be a musician, the University of Manchester would crush that dream, leaving him with his consolation prize of being an English major. This chain of events would lead to Burgess deciding to become an author, leading him to pen his most famed novel A Clockwork Orange. Throughout the novel, Burgess would implicate the youth as the troublesome faction, with Alex, the sadistic anti-hero, taking pleasure in callous crimes. Although the dystopian classic discusses numerous problems in the violent world, Burgess continually returns to how characters in the novel would rather choose to be a wicked person instead of being forced against
In Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange, Alex the narrator grows up in a near future English city that develops his inner moral disconnect and sociopathic tendencies. These characteristics mirror and grow from the corruption of his city, originating with its lack of resources and culminating in the great cultural divide between teenagers and adults, emphasizing the importance of perspective in decision making and acting.
"A Clockwork Orange" is a film that focuses on reformation, nature, and control. These words mean nothing by themselves, but their meaning comes from many places and details in the work that need delving into in order to solve its true meaning.
This summer, I chose the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess for my assigned reading. While the text addresses multiple important themes and lessons for society, the most important is the idea of free will or lack thereof throughout the plotline. Burgess’ use of a dystopian mix of the capitalistic and communistic systems of government to create the totalitarian regime in his novel as well as various developments and character paths, and finally, the use of his own invented slang in the form of Russian-influenced English are implemented to provoke thought in the reader not only about the mindless state of the characters, but show them how simple it is to become trapped in a mindless state as people
Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange has been placed under much scrutiny by literary critics and readers everywhere. Furthermore, this highly criticized novel contains a myriad of ways to engage with the work, whether it is from the psychological or ethical perspective. Through College Literature Journal’s article “O My Brothers”, the unnamed author draws interesting connections between the main character’s development and how pseudo-families and pseudo- self plays a part on this said development. The author of this article generates an association between Alex’s pseudo-families who have not accomplished what families are expected to accomplish in one’s life, and the way that Alex behaves because of it. Interestingly enough, the author
Anthony Burgess has been heralded as one of the greatest literary geniuses of the twentieth century. Although Burgess has over thirty works of published literature, his most famous is A Clockwork Orange. Burgess’s novel is a futuristic look at a Totalitarian government. The main character, Alex, is an &quot;ultra-violent&quot; thief who has no problem using force against innocent citizens to get what he wants. The beginning of the story takes us through a night in the life of Alex and his Droogs, and details their adventures that occupy their time throughout the night. At fifteen years old, Alex is set up by his Droogs—Pete,
They leave the bar and assault several people, rob a store, get into a gang fight, and steal a car and travel to a small town where they break into a house and brutally beat and rape the occupants. The husband of the household is an author who has a draft of his book A Clockwork Orange laying out, which Alex reads part of. The gang leaves and go their separate ways – Alex reveals his passion for music before going to bed, with plans to meet up with his friends the next
Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange takes place in a “. . . nightmarish society wracked by violent crime. . .” (“A Clockwork Orange: Theme Analysis”). The totalitarian governing style teaches the youth of the city that conforming to their standards is the only way to thrive in their society. Alex, the main character and narrator of the novel, performs devilish actions simply for the gratification of hurting another individual. He comes from a stable and wealthy family, which is why government officials cannot figure out how he could become such a troubled teen. Despite the conforming society around him, Alex chooses a new way to live in the wretched society. This novel depicts how a totalitarian government can push everyone living in a society to conform to a certain way of life.
What is the author’s purpose for writing a novel? To make a point? To make money? The case for Anthony Burgess’s novel, A Clockwork Orange is much larger: to lend insight into human nature, most specifically, moral development. Burgess stacks the entirety of this concept in a single chapter, the controversial twenty-first, using it to transform the entire meaning of the novel. When first published in 1961, the American edition of A Clockwork Orange omits this critical part, making it more to the likes of an allegory or fable rather than a novel. Burgess was understandably very displeased with his American publisher, and expresses his indignation in his revised 1983 introduction, stating that there is “not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility of moral transformation” (Burgess xii). When a work fails to show change (as the American first edition does) it merely portrays the human character as cold, rigid, unregenerable, not at all what Burgess intended. But would this be such an inaccurate portrayal of humanity? Yes. As circumstances change, so make people. Why? Free will. Free will is what allows one to choose between good and evil, and as circumstances change so do the choices, and with each decision, a step further into one's moral development, for the better or for the worse. Though in Alex’s case he is stripped of his ability to choose under the Ludovico technique. Without his free will, any chance of moral development is, in turn, essentially impossible. But Alex did have free will at the start of the novel, so what major factors were at play in his halted moral development? The influence of his surrounding family structures (or the lack thereof) are to blame. Family structures can serve as both catalysts and hindrances for interpersonal development, unfortunately the latter is true for Alex (at least for the first twenty chapters). By looking into the circumstances for Alex’s moral predicament, one will find that true moral principles are best developed of one’s own accord, by being exposed to positive influences.