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A Clockwork Orange Essay

920 words - 4 pages

I think that A Clockwork Orange is a book worth reading because it is relatable, makes you think, and is interesting. The author, Anthony Burgess, was born February 25, 1917. At the young age of two his mother passed away. He was brought up by his aunt and later his stepmother. Even with such an unstable childhood Burgess continued on to enroll in college and major in English. He had a passion for music, which he expressed in the main character of A Clockwork Orange. Burgess wrote several accomplished symphonies in his day, as well as over fifty books. He was diagnoses with a brain tumor at about age 40 but well outlived his doctor’s expectations continuing his artistic output until his death from lung cancer at age 76.
     A Clockwork Orange was claimed by many to be Burgess's greatest accomplishment. The main character, Alex, is a young teen with a drive for violence, rape and general rebellion without remorse, yet he still has a charming intelligent quality. The law finally catches him and he is convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison. After two years he becomes aware of a route to early release and after killing a cellmate he is elected (almost voluntarily) to be the first to travel it. However, the process is not at all what he expected it to be. He soon finds himself being subjected to immoral films and induced illness to condition him to become ill at even the thought of a "bad" act. When conditioning is complete, Alex is released into the world alone without free-will and feels so tormented he is committed to ending it all. He fails to complete the job, wakes up in a hospital, and finds the mental barriers gone and a pity dream job is handed to him to compensate for the emotional damage.
     A Clockwork Orange had a loose theme of the necessity of not only good, but also evil in human nature. Alex may have been selfish and deviant but his character and the characters like him did seem to have a strong grasp on the concept that life was for living. Without the ability of choice to commit evil acts which was an impulse inside of him, his ability to act human was affected. The freedom of making these choices seems to be what makes us human. Hence without this freedom he is driven to attempt suicide.
     The major theme of the novel was a battle of the greater importance of a safe stable society or greater importance of free-will. The main character had been conditioned to feel ill at the thought of bad acts, he had not however been conditioned to not wish to commit these acts. After viewing the presentation of...

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