Essay about Analysis of A Clockwork Orange

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Analysis and Interpretation of A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, is one of the most experimental, original, and controversial novels of the twentieth century. It is both a compelling work of literature and an in-depth study in linguistics. The novel is a satirical, frightening science fiction piece, not unlike others of this century such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. However, the conflicts and resolutions in A Clockwork Orange are more philosophical than social, and its message is far more urgent.

A Clockwork Orange is made up of three parts containing 21 chapters, 21 being the official age of human maturity. It is a stream-of-consciousness novel
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In Nadsat, "orange" means "man" (which is derived from the Malay word "orang," meaning "man"), so a clockwork orange would be a man moving without pause or thought, as a clockwork (Lund). Burgess says of the title, "I mean it to stand for the application of a mechanistic morality to a living organism oozing with juice and sweetness" ("Resucked" x). After the state reforms him, the novel's hero and narrator Alex becomes a clockwork orange, a man working as a machine.

Nadsat is the primary language, although not the exclusive one, of A Clockwork Orange. Burgess claims he uses it "to muffle the raw response we expect from pornography." But he also uses it to create a "literary adventure" ("Resucked" x). The use of Nadsat emphasizes many of the struggles involved with A Clockwork Orange's purpose. The struggle between the old and the young--the conservative and the progressive--is made more sensational by the separation of language. Alex is misunderstood by his parents, the police, and the government philosophically, but also literally, widening the gap between him and the "sane" world.

Burgess also manipulates language in A Clockwork Orange in more traditional ways, in the form of literary and linguistic devices. The novel is saturated with irony and dark humor, dotted with repetition, and laced with word play.

Irony is used extensively A Clockwork Orange. One of the most repeated and significant examples of irony is in Alex's description
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