Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange – a book stuffed with slang

Burgess was inspired to write A Clockwork Orange during a visit to Russia, where he observed the repressive atmosphere of a communist nation. Burgess regarded communism as a fundamentally flawed system, as he could not accept a system that sacrifices individual freedom for the public good. This is reflected in A Clockwork Orange as it seems to attack communism through its extremely negative portrayal of a government that seeks to solve social problems by removing freedom of choice.

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Then I looked at its top sheet, and there was the name – A CLOCKWORK ORANGE – and I said: ‘That’s a fair gloopy title. Who ever heard of a clockwork orange?’ Then I read a malenky bit out loud in a sort of very high preaching goloss: ‘—The attempt to impose upon man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my swordpen—‘


A Clockwork Orange Essay Question

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I usually prefer a book over a film but when it comes to A Clockwork Orange I'm just ambivalent. I can't say "what's better" (it might be dumb to compare those medias but that's point of the article, isn't it) because each has its merits. While the book has more space for a philosophy and psychological progress of characters, the film takes a hell of advantage of the audiovisuality which is quite important for the story. The importance of music is highlighted even in the book and it's one of the best aspects of the film. Same goes for the costumes which helps us understand that it's happening in future though it's obvious it's not so distant future which is worrying. Because the main aim of the story is to warn - look, how our society could look like in few decades, think about it. The book is pretty clear about it when the film looks more like a rebellious parody of society (which the story is anyway but the film can't quite describe delicate message of Burgess's book). The reason why the book is more violent - and that's good point - is because it is supposed to disgust us. I think the most shocking part of book (at least for me) is the end of first part when Alex says 'That was everything. I'd done the lot, now. And me still only fifteen.' Alex's age is very important for that unease we're supposed to feel. But Alex in film is more older, he doesn't make us feel as much shocked as disgusted (though I just love Malcolm McDowell and the film had to go with older protagonist). Since the book is dystopian we must feel horrified by its society - and also it's bound that the main evil is in a government. Alex might be naturally evil but in the end he's just a tool for governement's contest. That's why I think the 21st chapter is important because it shows that an inclination to violence is natural but can be just a phase of life. I don't think there's anything glorifying in that. I didn’t feel like going out in streets and start to punch people when I finished reading the book or watching the film. So if someone says the story glorifies violence it’s because he’s scared of possibility that people would follow the footsteps of Alex – and then the story fulfilled its intention.


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As in most works about Utopia, Brave New World lacks the complexity of characterization that marks other kinds of great novels as the characters mostly exist to voice ideas in words or to embody them in their behaviour, rather than to represent actual people. It is almost as if the totalitarian Brave New World becomes the novels main character. This lack of complexity of characterization can also be seen in A Clockwork Orange, as the only character given much depth is the protagonist, Alex. All other characters seem to exist in order to either personify ideas, or merely to move the story along.

A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

4.) A Clockwork Orange is very violent. Yet the works of violence has been tempered by other devices–sometimes by language barrier (“tolchocking” someone sounds a lot less horrible than beating them). Discuss the role of violence in the book and the way the author choose to portray it.

SparkNotes: A Clockwork Orange

As can be seen through the conventions of the utopian genre which Brave New World and both the film adaptation and novel A Clockwork Orange present, it is impossible to create a Utopia without inevitably creating a dystopia where the state holds all power over its citizens.