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The Importance Of Morality In A Clockwork Orange

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“Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness”? (Burgess 95)
Morality, by its very nature, is a quite fickle and subjective thing. What is often defined as morally good is typically characterized by altruism and generosity, whereas immoral acts are defined as the antitheses to such behaviors; however, when arbitrating the moral nature of an act, the motive behind said act must also be considered, and it is at this point that the typically stark dichotomy between moral and immoral becomes quite unclear. If, out of a gesture of good will, somebody were to inadvertently harm or wrong another, is said person guilty of an immoral act? Moreover, if someone helps another simply out of a selfish or malevolent interest, is the person in question still able to be considered moral? These are the difficult questions that define Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange, in which anti-hero Alex, after a spate of heinous and objectively immoral acts, is forced by the government to undergo a treatment rendering him unable to commit such acts. The acts of murder, larceny, and rape that Alex commits prior to his treatment portray him clearly as an objectively immoral character. After his treatment, he is rendered incapable of committing such acts. This, however, begs the question: Is an individual moral if they do not have the free will to choose to be moral and instead must be coerced? The beginning of A Clockwork Orange is replete with evidence that makes it abundantly clear that
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