Government Control and Free Will in "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess

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A Clockwork Orange, a novel written by Anthony Burgess in the 1960’s takes place in dystopian future in London, England. The novel is about a fifteen year old nadsat (teenager) named Alex who along with his droogs (friends) commit violent acts of crime and opts to be bad over good. In time, Alex finds himself to be in an experiment by the government, making him unable to choose between good and evil, thus losing his ability of free will, and being a mere clockwork orange. A “clockwork orange” is a metaphor for Alex being controlled by the government, which makes him artificial because he is unable to make the decision of good verses evil for himself and is a subject to what others believe is right. In A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess…show more content…
Finally, at the end of the novel in Part Three, Alex is “cured” and has reverted back to his previous state of having a choice between being good or evil, thus acquiring that sense of free will once more. In part one of the novel, we witness the ability of free will that Alex possesses and his ability to choose between good and evil through contrast presented by darkness of night and lightness of day. At the beginning of the novel, Alex and his droogs (friends), Pete, Georgie, and Dim are at the Kovova Milkbar, roaming the streets and committing violent acts during night. Alex and his droogs encounter an old man who is drunk and is singing a sentimental song. Alex instantly chooses the path of evil with the free will that he encompasses, and along with his droogs they beat the old man while laughing at his misery. The old man complains about the “stinking world” and says, “It’s a stinking world because it lets the young get on to the old like you done, and there’s no law nor order no more.” (Part 2, Chapter 2, Page 12) At night, Alex uses violence and chooses to beat, rape, and murder innocent people because it shows that he has freedom of choice and has authority and power in society. Alex’s interpretation of darkness and night is, “The night belonged to me and my droogs and all the rest of the nadsats (teenagers), and the starry bourgeois lurked indoors…” (Part 1, Chapter 4, Page 33). In contrast,

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