Literary Analysis: A Clockwork Orange

1266 Words6 Pages
A Clockwork Orange Literary Analysis What’s going to be then, eh? A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, starts with this question as it reinforces the theme of the book, the inviolability of individual moral choice and the necessity of commitment in life. Fifteen years old Alex and his friends set out on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder. Alex is jailed for his teenage delinquency and the state tries to reform him- but at what cost? A Clockwork orange is a dystopian novel and black comedy about the study of free will and the social prophecy in the not-too-distant-future or as Burgess calls it “nadsat”. The Author, John Anthony Burgess Wilson, was an English writer and composer. He was raised in considerably modest family…show more content…
Our protagonist as well as our first-person narrator is Alex who has addiction to two things: “violence” and “Beethoven”. Alex is a dynamic and round character. He transformed to a robot-like state by undergoing Ludovico 's Technique. His human feelings were eradicated and he could not even see whether his actions were right or wrong. Therefore, it was quite difficult to understand his character and personality. On the other hand, Minister of the Interior is our antagonist and a symbolic character. He symbolizes a totalitarian oppressive government. In addition, he is the person who persuades Alex to take this technique. We have some minor characters as well. Dim, Pete and Georgie who are members of Alex’s gang and Alex’s family were static and flat characters in the novel. By the way, Dim is the “stupidest” of the gang according to our narrator. Do you think his name was just a coincidence? To briefly explain you the plot, I will just cover specific elements in the novel that made up the plot diagram. Our exposition was an introduction of characters. Alex commits many crimes in the futuristic English state. In the rising action, he is imprisoned for his crimes. His new name is 6655321 and there, he meets with Prison Chaplain who is the good guy and the Minister of Interior who was basically the bad guy. He is forced to undergo behavioral therapy to be…show more content…
Deprived from their self-consciousness, the citizens would turn into clockwork oranges. Our major external conflict is society’s desire to order and the individualism that comes from human nature. Right of deciding your own choices is a problem when those choices threaten the society and government. However, if we take people’s ability to use this right, the result would be equally horrible. The necessity of evil in human nature was one of the major themes in the book as well. No one is perfect. Because, our evil sides are as important as our good sides and they make us and Alex human. Unlike many other people, Alex’s thoughts and appearance were much livelier. The second theme and also a motif in the novel is “Classical music”. Burgess was also a composer. He even considered himself a composer more than a writer. Therefore, he often uses music as a motif in his works. The work which was frequently alluded to was Beethoven’s ninth symphony, Ode to Joy. Music is the one passion for Alex apart from violence and it is the only thing that makes him a real human with feelings instead of a person that sleeps all day, then wakes up to have sex, take drugs, and use violence. During the Alex’s treatment the love of music was taken from him, just another reason why Alex turned into a human robot or a clockwork orange. The imagery of “blood” in the novel is very different from usual as well.

More about Literary Analysis: A Clockwork Orange

Open Document