Theme Of Contradictions In A Clockwork Orange

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Contradiction/Duality as the ultimate reality in A clockwork orange.
In his novel A clockwork orange, Anthony Burgess explores contradiction/duality as a ultimate reality. His understanding of this phrase reflects the world as a set of fundamental and coequal oppositions of forces, and this is evident throughout the novel (Sparknotes, 2015:1). In the following essay we will be exploring the concept of contradictions/duality as portrayed in the novella by referring to the following contradictions namely; good versus evil, commitment versus neutrality, free will versus the “Clockwork orange”, man versus government, youth versus maturity and intellect versus intuition.
Burgess expresses the idea that a man cannot be completely good or evil and
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The novel revolves around what happens when a person’s free will is taken away (Novelguide, 2015:2). Alex asserts his free will by choosing a course of wickedness, but he is subsequently robbed of his self-determination by the governments implementation of the Ludovico Technique upon him (Sparknotes, 2015:1). By making Alex a ruthless and wicked criminal, Burgess argues that humanity must, at any cost, insist that individuals be allowed to make their own moral choices, even if that freedom results in depravity (Sparknotes, 2015:1). When the government removes Alex’s power to choose his own moral course of action, Alex becomes nothing more than a thing, something like a machine, something as unnatural as a clockwork orange (Novelguide, 2015:2). It is suggested that Burgess believes that an evil Alex is a human Alex, and therefore he prefers the evil Alex to an Alex who has been programmed to deny his own nature (Scaruso, 2015:1). The chaplain presents the Christian concept of morality, and sums up Burgess’s position very concisely, when he explains to Alex that: “When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man” (Burgess, 2013:169). F. Alexander echoes this sentiment from a different philosophical viewpoint, however, when he tells Alex that the treatment has: “Turned him into something other a human being. He has no power of choice any longer. You are committed to socially accepted acts, a little machine capable only of good” (Burgess, 2013:173). Burgess’s novel ultimately supports the conception of morality as a matter of choice and determination and argues that good behaviour is meaningless if one does not actively choose goodness (Sparknotes,
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