Clockwork Orange

Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange is one of the most controversial movies ever made. The movie is based around a thug named Alex, a teenager, who finds happiness in about any perverse action. Alex, who seems to find glory in rape, lust, and murder, tells the story from his point of view. The movie examines the usual cliches of “individual freedom”. It seems as if Alex suffers from an attempt to exercise his own vitality within a social structure too severe to support it. The film is not only a social satire but also a “fairy tale of retribution” and a “psychological myth”,(Kagan) all constructed around the truth of human nature. Each night Alex and his companions commit stylized but meaningless acts of violence including rape, robbery, and mugging.

One such night they find themselves out at a house far off in the country. The overly modernistic house has a sign lit in the front that says “home”. The four boys slither to the front door where they act as if one of them is hurt. Once they are permitted to enter, Alex and his gang rape the woman and leave the old man there a cripple. After the horrific event, which Alex describes as “an evening of some small energy expenditure,” the boys end back up at the Milkbar for a nightcap.

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The Milkbar is a place where spiked or laced drinks, called milk-plus, are served. The next morning Alex is confronted by his probation officer because his officer thinks that he was involved in the previous night’s wrongdoings. He keeps a calm demeanor throughout the whole thing and denies all charges. That night Alex and his droogs go about their mischievous ways again. They attempt to enter an older woman’s house the same way they entered the previous night, the woman will not let them.

So Alex finds his way inside and once inside he struggles with the woman, who has already called the cops, and ends up clubbing her with an enormous phallic sculpture, killing her. When he goes back outside, his droogs turn against him and smash a milk bottle over his head, leaving him for the cops. Alex is questioned by the police and then accused of murder and sent to prison. During his stay in prison he acts like an upstanding member of society, helping at group liturgy and reading the Bible regularly. Because of this Alex is chosen to take part in an experimental rehabilitation called the “ludovico treatment”. For the treatment Alex is strapped to a chair and forced to watch horrific scenes of rape, murder, and brutality with the use of eye openers.

The constant viewing of the material makes him sick, and to even think about it makes him nauseated. The material is accompanied by classical music including Beethoven, which in turn has the same affect of sickness when listened to. After some time he is tested to see if he will regress into his former self. He is tested by having different people perform acts such as violence unto Alex, hoping to enrage him. After each test is completed Alex is set free.

The satire on conditioning is fairly clear-cut: we are shown that society is actually based on power and dissembling; it follows that a man conditioned to be “good” in all circumstances is continuously vulnerable. Alex is confronted with multiple situations from his past upon his release. He becomes the butt end of the events to close the movie, including: a hobo whom Alex beat up returns with his hobo friends to beat Alex up, Alex’s own parents take in a renter at their house who kicks Alex out, Alex’s droogs become policemen and turn on him, and finally the man who he left a cripple, at the beginning of the movie, tries to kill him like Alex killed his wife. The basic paradox of the movie is free will, and the importance of a man’s power to choose how he will act and what choices he wants to make; even if it is violence and destruction.

Clockwork Orange

This novel is shortonly being about 180 pagesbut looks may deceive you, or
in other words dont judge a book buy its cover or its thickness. A Clockwork
Orange is actually 360 pages because you have to read between the lines. You may
think that the storys theme is that the future will be filled with horrible
decadent violence (that is what I first thought), but if you read between the
lines you will understand that this book is written for one main purpose, a
purpose other than entertainment. A Clockwork Orange was written in 1962, story
about the future which was meant to be around 1995 to 2000 (a car used in the
story called a 95′ Durango). A boy about seventeen, Alex the narrator and main
character living in London, rampages about with his droogs (friends)
raping, stealing, beating and even killing people. Alex one day is caught for
murder and jailed but two years later he is luckily freed twelve years before
his sentence ends to take advantage of a new treatment for violent people like
him that he volunteered for. He goes through the therapy and succeeds and
returns back to civilization. He now becomes sick when he is about to commit a
violent or sexual, but also when the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven plays (a minor
defect from the treatment). Alex is driven to attempt suicide from this defect
because he is locked within a chamber playing this song and does not accomplish
his task. He is hospitalized and returns to his ultra-violent self while
the inhumane treatment does not work because it does not even give people a
choice about being violent. While Alex helps to present the theme, two different
outcomes are formed. First, Alex goes through a great change from being
ultra- violent to becoming Lamb-chop and then back to being
ultra-violent. Second, the theme defines the major conflict of the story.

Although the conflict does not have to do with Alex directly, he helps to
illustrate it. The conflict is not solved in the book and will probably never be
solved, but it does bring up for debate what Anthony Burgess thinks about right
or wrong, regarding the controversial situation of a cycle of violence.

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Violence makes Violence, is what was once said to Alex by P. R. Deltoid,
his teacher from school before he went to prison. This book brings up . What do
we do to someone who has committed a violent crime? Do we punish them with more
violence, for instance death, or do we help them? This is the problem that has
arisen in this story and also in our daily lives with the death penalty. Anthony
Burgess thinks that the solution to violence should not be violence, but he does
not give any alternatives. In A Clockwork Orange a new treatment for
disturbingly violent criminals is developed by scientists working for the
English government and the government tests it on some convicted violent
prisoners. The treatment guaranteed that the patient would turn good and be let
out into the free world again. Alex was one of the lucky (because of reduced
sentence) people chosen. The treatment includes long days of watching violent
movie clips while a patient is hooked up to a lot of hardware. The treatment
works because now when a ex-criminal sees or are about to commit cruel violent
or criminal or sexual acts you become sick and cannot perform the task. This
procedure was thought of to end violence without causing violence, because every
action causes a reaction. For example, when Alex was free to return to his life,
his droogs betray him and beat him up severely in payback for his cruel
ruling as leader of the team of friends. This might cause Alex to come back and
hurt them again, which he considers. This causes a chain of violence that may
take years to end. When Alex is about to go to Dr. Brodsky (the man who will
cure him), the governor speaks to Alex. He told him about how these new radical
ideas and methods of treatment have been formed (from ultra-violent to a
lamb), and he does not approve of them. If someone hits you, you hit back, do
you not, the governor said to Alex. The governor means that for each action
there will be a solution of even more violence. The preceding brings up the
question of turning the bad into the good or the state should hit back
also like the convict. One thing that is important here is that the state does
not care about turning the bad into good, but on cutting down on crime and the
only way to do that is cut down on the number of criminals. But by doing that
with just ways. In the end this resolution is just another violent
punishment because it does not give people freedom and it can then lead to
death. In Alexs case he tried to commit suicide. As you see this problem of
settling what to do to criminals is already very complicated to solve and may
never be solved, but as it says in the Old Testament, murder will result with
murder (of the criminal) or in other words violence makes violence. This problem
is not for me to solve, but I think that an innocent, good and hardworking
person such as for example Alexs parents should have the right to live in
peace. Therefore, one goal to gain more peace is to try to lessen crime, and to
do that, punishments have to be given. If a hoodlum were unpunished he would
think he could freely commit horrible crimes again. This means that the convict
has to be stopped and taught a lesson before innocent and peaceful people get
hurt. Consequently, protecting good people is more important than not punishing
a criminal because the good people might get hurt and not the criminal. Now only
the judge has to choose who is good and bad. The book and the movie complement
each other. First, the book is less discrete with the theme and the theme in the
movie is very direct. Second, after reading the book any questions you might
have are solved in the movie because the movie is much more clear and it is also
made for an audience with less intelligence, who come to see violence. Finally,
both the movie and the book are alike except that there is more description in
the book and more in-between time between all the important events in the book.

Otherwise, if you read the book first and see the movie second, you will
understand the question brought up by the theme. I liked the fact that there
were more that 300 words not in English, which were invented by the author and
made from Russian, therefore I had to look up a lot of words in the index, but
it was entertaining reading like that. The thing I liked most about the book is
the controversial question brought up and trying to solve it myself. I cannot
think of any dislikes about the book, but I unlike Anthony Burgess, I think that
there should be a solution to. You may ask what was between the lines and now
you get your answer: Anthony Burgess explains how violence is not a solution to
violence (violence makes violence), and that is the theme of A Clockwork Orange.


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