Abuse Of Power In" A Clockwork Orange" By Anthony Burgess

1325 words - 5 pages

The choice between good and evil is a decision every man must make throughout his life in order to guide his actions and control his future. This element of choice, no matter what the outcome, displays man's power as an individual. Any efforts to control or influence this choice between good and evil will in turn govern man's free will and enslave him. In the novel A Clockwork Orange, the author uses symbolism through imagery, the characterization of Alex, and the first person narrative point of view to prove that without the ability to choose between good and evil, Man becomes powerless as an individual.The symbolism through imagery proves how Alex's ability to choose between good and evil is his ascendancy over the innocent and the weak. The first symbol is the music to which he listens and loves. It is the only thing in Alex's life that he truly cares for. This music represents the element of his choice and free will. When his ability of choice is robbed in an attempt to better him, he loses his love for music in which he exclaims, 'And all the time the music got more and more gromky, like it was all a deliberate torture, O my brothers . . . then I jumped'(131). The music that represents his freedom to choose is now gone. He is left without any reason to live. When he realizes that he is no longer a man because of his absence of choice, Alex decides to end his life. The author illustrates through Alex's violent actions, how they represent his abuse of power through his freedom of choice. Alex consistently chooses evil as a means to display his power over the innocent and the good. While beating and raping a young girl, he states with pride, 'So he did the strong-man on the devotchka, who was still creeching away . . . in very horrorshow groodies'(22). This proves that he feels he must display his power through his abuse of choice. His love for violence symbolises his abuse of power as an evil trait, but his love for music symbolises his human side. In the end of the story Alex decides that he is ready to become a man. During this rapid evolution from adolescence to manhood, Alex chooses a wife, a family, a life, and in essence he chooses good for the first time in the story. 'There was your humble narrator . . . I knew what was happening, O my brothers. I was growing up'(147). Alex realizes that he may choose good and still maintain a strong element of choice. He becomes stronger because he now has a broader selection to choose from. He sees that the abuse of the ability of choice is not what makes Man powerful. It is instead, the realization that the choice between good and evil, no matter what decision, is the power within Man.Using the characterization of Alex, it effectively illustrates how the element of choice is linked to the power within man. The author uses violence to represent the abuse of power when the right of free will is controlled. Alex believes that his decision towards evil proves his freedom of choice; subsequently it also...

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