alexclo Metamorphosis of Alex in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange
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The Metamorphosis of Alex in A Clockwork Orange
As both the protagonist and narrator of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, the character of Alex is an intriguing study from start to finish. Specifically, in comparing part one and part three of the novel, Alex's world, internally and externally, his characterization and travails are shown to be mirror images of each other, both identical and reversed. Where Alex was the soulless victimizer in part one, he finds himself repeatedly a victim in part three. Where he was once welcome at the story's start, he is cast out at the close. What gives him pleasure at the beginning, in part three gives him pain. This neat symmetrical structure clearly and symbolically portrays how much Alex…show more content… As his state-appointed guidance councilor, P.R. Deltoid, says to him, ìYou've got a good home here, good loving parents, you've got not too bad of a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside you?î (39). While leaving that question unanswered, we do see that Alex's commitment to evil is so pure that he fantasizes about nailing Jesus to a cross.
Along with his violent tendencies in part one, Alex is also portrayed as immature and irresponsible. He holds down no job and seems to have no responsibilities of any kind. He stays out all night, without letting his parents know, sleeps all day and still expects to be fed, clothed and taken care of. At the Korova Milkbar, Alex and his buddies communicate in a teenage lingo that sounds distinctly like baby talk. They use words such as ìappy polly loggiesî for apologies, ìeggiwegsî for eggs, ìskolliwollî for school, ìboohooedî for cried and ìfistieî for fist. These language choices hint at their infantilism and, in light of their lawlessness, their perverse childish nature.
Furthermore, in part one Alex is described as very arrogant, self-absorbed, autocratic and too firmly convinced of his superiority over everyone he encounters. His haughty attitude toward his fellow gang members ultimately causes them to betray him. After losing some measure of standing in his group, Alex vainly assumes that taking on a robbery job alone will prove once and for all his dominance over them. ìI