Essay, Research Paper: Clockwork Orange

World Literature

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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 been formed (from “ultra-violent” to a
lamb), and he does not approve of them. “If someone hits you, you hit back, do
you not,” the governor said to Alex. The governor means that for each action
there will be a solution of even more violence. The preceding brings up the
question of turning the bad into the good or the “state should hit back”
also like the convict. One thing that is important here is that the state does
not care about turning the bad into good, but on cutting down on crime and the
only way to do that is cut down on the number of criminals. But by doing that
with “just” ways. In the end this resolution is just another violent
punishment because it does not give people freedom and it can then lead to
death. In Alex’s case he tried to commit suicide. As you see this problem of
settling what to do to criminals is already very complicated to solve and may
never be solved, but as it says in the Old Testament, murder will result with
murder (of the criminal) or in other words violence makes violence. This problem
is not for me to solve, but I think that an innocent, good and hardworking
person such as for example Alex’s parents should have the right to live in
peace. Therefore, one goal to gain more peace is to try to lessen crime, and to
do that, punishments have to be given. If a hoodlum were unpunished he would
think he could freely commit horrible crimes again. This means that the convict
has to be stopped and taught a lesson before innocent and peaceful people get
hurt. Consequently, protecting good people is more important than not punishing
a criminal because the good people might get hurt and not the criminal. Now only
the judge has to choose who is good and bad. The book and the movie complement
each other. First, the book is less discrete with the theme and the theme in the
movie is very direct. Second, after reading the book any questions you might
have are solved in the movie because the movie is much more clear and it is also
made for an audience with less intelligence, who come to see violence. Finally,
both the movie and the book are alike except that there is more description in
the book and more in-between time between all the important events in the book.
Otherwise, if you read the book first and see the movie second, you will
understand the question brought up by the theme. I liked the fact that there
were more that 300 words not in English, which were invented by the author and
made from Russian, therefore I had to look up a lot of words in the index, but
it was entertaining reading like that. The thing I liked most about the book is
the controversial question brought up and trying to solve it myself. I cannot
think of any dislikes about the book, but I unlike Anthony Burgess, I think that
there should be a solution to. You may ask what was between the lines and now
you get your answer: Anthony Burgess explains how violence is not a solution to
violence (violence makes violence), and that is the theme of A Clockwork Orange.

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