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A Clockwork Orange: A Critical View

1530 words - 6 pages

By psychological definition, people affected with antisocial personality disorder (also known as "sociopaths" or "psychopaths") have incredible manipulation skills. They fail to conform to social norms, are deceitful and aggressive, and seek to destroy with little remorse. Sex, cruelty, and dominance define parts of antisocial personality behavior, and also perfectly define the odd, near-antithesis of a hero, Alex, in A Clockwork Orange who exists as the "beloved" psychopath in this story. He religiously ventures out on nightly rampages with his band of "droogs" after consuming some type of spiked beverage, tearing down what society has morally built and ripping holes into the reasoning of random citizens.If ever there was a movie that depicted sociopathic behavior, A Clockwork Orange would be the one. Though this is Stanley Kubrick's adaptation to an Anthony Burgess novel about punk-rock gangs and brainwashing, the film perfectly portrays the bizarre and outlandish behaviors of a young male living with antisocial personality disorder. Though the film is, at times, hard to understand and subtitles may be found useful, this does not change the impact the movie has; It may even add to the atmosphere Kubrick is attempting to create and emphasize.The main character in A Clock Work Orange, Alex, perfectly fits the mold and maintains all of the qualities that are considered when looking to diagnose a person with antisocial personality disorder. Alex is deceitful and manipulative. He knocks on doors claiming that his friend is hurt and lying for dead in the road and he desperately needs the help of his soon-to-be victim(s). He is impulsive. He will do anything at the drop of a hat, all of his actions are impulsive and are minimally thought out if they are thought out at all. He is aggressive. This is quite obvious in Alex's behavior. He not only is aggressive towards his prey, but also towards the "brothers" which he conducts these insane acts with. If an accomplice is to turn against him or propose another idea, his aggressiveness with them is horrific. Alex is irresponsible. Yet again, quite obviously noted. It is apparent that Alex thinks only about himself yet does not take the blame for any of his actions. When caught in the act he is quick to blame the other members of his gang and proclaim that they forced him to participate. Alex also lacks a sense of conformity and has no remorse what-so-ever for others. This is easily noted not only in his nightly charades, but also in his lack of desire to attend school, or even to get out of bed for that matter.The movie's psychological validity comes under questioning with the introduction of the conditioning treatment Alex participates in after two years in a penitentiary. Although the actual process of Pavlovian conditioning seems to be portrayed quite accurately, many questions arise when taking a critical psychological viewpoint.The first question to arise is the way in which Alex is chosen for this...

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