Analysis Of A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess

1840 Words8 Pages

Fifteen year old Alex de Large is the narrator and main protagonist of “A clockwork orange”, who, along with his 'droogs ' (comrades), rampages through a dystopian Britain committing random acts of 'ultraviolence ', brutal rapes, robbery and ultimately murder. Alex 's other great source of intense enjoyment is listening to classical music, and above all the music of Beethoven or 'Ludwig van ' , which seems to heighten his pleasure and intensify his savage and psychopathic impulses. He is a classic anti-hero, and this includes him having a quality of innocence, even at his most depraved. Deceived by his 'droogs ' and arrested for murder, he is then conned by his fellow cons, who lay blame on him for the murder of a new prison inmate. After …show more content…

Most of the reviews praised the inventiveness of the language, while at the same time stressing unease at the violent subject matter (IABF, n.d.). The American and British editions were essentially different with the omission of the 21st chapter in the American edition and thus Alex 's moral transformation. Paradoxically, given the less moral ending, the book did get more favourable reviews in America. Anthony Burgess has said 'Though they were reading a somewhat different book, American reviewers understood what I was trying to do rather better than their British counterparts '( Burgess, 1990) An anonymous reviewer for the New York Times calls the book "brilliant," and writes, "A Clockwork Orange is a tour-de-force in nastiness, an inventive primer in total violence, a savage satire on the distortions of the single and collective minds” (NY Times, 1963). The book developed somewhat of a cult following in Britain but less than four thousand copies of the book had been sold by the mid 1960s …show more content…

Burgess wrote the novel after reacting in horror to the reports of plans to use behaviour modification with American prisoners and the calls of British politiitians for similar actions. As a direct extension of his ideas on free will and the repressiveness of the state Burgess could not accept the classical and operant conditioning behaviourist paradigm which included aversion therapy advocated by BF Skinner (Newman,1991). Burgess described Skinner 's book Beyond Freedom and Dignity, which was published in 1971, the same year as Kubrick 's film, as 'one of the most dangerous books ever written [because he] seems to miss the whole point of life

Show More
Open Document