"A Clockwork Orange" By Anthony Burgess

1101 words - 4 pages

In A Clockwork Orange, Alex, the narrator and the main character, tells the story of his teenage years, starting at fifteen. He begins his tale as the leader of a small gang that spends its evenings pillaging and wreaking havoc on the town until the gang mutinies and 'Your Humble Narrator,' as Alex refers to himself, is caught by the police. From there, Alex travels to State Jail 84F to serve 14 years, but receives an offer from 'the Government' which entails undergoing experimental treatment in return for early release. He seizes what seems to him an opportunity, but is horrified by the 'cure' he endures. The new 'good' Alex that is released unto the world is depressed, frustrated, and lonely, although no longer violent. A radical political group then exploits him as an example of the cruelty of 'the Government.' This faction tries to force Alex to suicide in order to gain a martyr, but Alex's attempt fails and he is nursed back to health and his natural mental state by the Government, who in the end comes out on top.Alex, whose last name is not mentioned in the book, is a violent, aggressive teenager of fifteen, who is the leader of a four-person gang. He truly enjoys violence, reveling in the sight of blood or weapons. Alex's love of hate is not simply a rebellious emotion, but as he explains, it is his very nature, and he could not change it if he wanted to. Despite his passion for what most see as ugly and disgusting, Alex does have a great appreciation for classical music, especially Beethoven.Alex's main conflicts are both external and internal. His external conflicts are between him and the members of his gang. Dim and Georgie, two of the members of Alex's gang, are unwilling to accept Alex's leadership. They challenge his authority, and Alex reacts rashly by trying to re- establish his dominance through defeating both of his aggressors in fighting. This confrontation only raises tensions within the gang, and leads to a betrayal which results in Alex's capture on the charge of murder. Alex's main internal conflict is a physiological one. The Government's experimental treatment which Alex undergoes involves conditioning to produce a feeling of nausea and overbearing fear when violent tendencies are encountered. Since Alex's nature is to respond to situations violently, he is ruined by the conflict between his physical and emotional feelings.The climax of the book occurs at the end of Alex's conditioning, when he is made to feel sick by his own true emotions, and he realizes fully that he must change his entire way of life.The major difference between the film and the book versions of A Clockwork Orange was the lack of theme or meaning in the film. The film easily conveyed all aspects of the story's plot and dialogue, but was quite lacking in the conveyance of the thoughts within Alex. It seemed that without this key part of the book, the film was completely devoid of any merit whatsoever.Between the film and book versions of A Clockwork...

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