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A Clockwork Orange

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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess This novel is short-only being about

180 pages-but looks may deceive you, or in other words don't 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 story's

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. "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



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