Language In A Clockwork Orange

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In the novel “A Clockwork Orange”, key words and phrases are repeatedly used throughout the book. The book’s passage itself resembles that of a sonata, where the first and 3rd part of the book are upbeat, while the 2nd part goes in a more slow, fluent style. These patterns in the book represent the important themes of the book, including the power of language, ego and superego, and the free will of human beings. The opening phrase of each part of the book, “What’s it going to be then, eh?” [1] is repeatedly used by many characters throughout the book. The use of language in the novel is unique by using its “nadsat” words used by Alex. Even though they all use the same words, each “What’s it going to be then, eh?” [1] asks a question to a…show more content…
A clockwork is something that already has a determined course. Orang, in Malay, means “man”. Alex becomes a clockwork orang after the Reclamation Treatment, for he is not able to think about violence without getting sick. He was changed to a “perfectly good” person. The treatment made Alex a “clockwork man”, making a victim of crimes after he is freed from the jail. The prison chaplain questions the Reclamation Treatment, “It may not be nice to be good, little 6655321. It may be horrible to be good. And when I say that to you I realize how self-contradictory that sounds. I know I shall have many sleepless nights about this. What does God want? Does God want woodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some ways better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?” [1] The chaplain thinks that being forced to be good is worse than choosing to be bad, for the ethical choice being made by the individual becomes deprived by the treatment that Alex is going to go through. In the last chapter of the book, Alex rephrases youth as “not an animal, but a wind-up toy”. Even though it seems as if during youth, we are free to do anything, but instead, we are only manipulated and disciplined to be good. Youth erases our free will to do things that are bad, and Alex went through consequences when he acted directly by his id. He has went to jail, and gone…show more content…
However, that doesn’t mean that there should be oppression towards making decisions, for that would be the neglect of free will. “A Clockwork Orange” depicts a raw image of what could happen to the internal mental state of a person if he or she loses the right to have free will, only able to do what is “good” for the society. Of course, murder and rape are serious crimes and need punishment. However, the Reclamation Treatment that was operated on Alex didn’t change him from the insides, but was forced not to act from his desires. As Alex lost his way of expressing his id, he has become nothing but a “clockwork orange”, a man without free will, a man that is
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