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Dystopian Society Explored In A Clockwork Orange, By Anthony Burgess And Brave New World By Aldous Huxley

1672 words - 7 pages

Deprived Identity
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley are both novels that deal with the theme of dystopia. Both novels depict societies in which mind control is used to create social stability. There are also individuals who rebel against this loss of freedom and identity. However, these individuals lose their fight for freedom because of unsuccessful escape methods, acts of violence and effective conditioning.
Character in both novels use unsuccessful escape methods to cope with their loss of identity. Alex, the protagonist in A Clockwork Orange, turns to classical music such as Beethoven when his gang members question his hierarchy within the group. Alex describes his bedroom where he goes after an argument with his gang members : "the little speakers of my stereo were all arranged round the room, on ceiling, walls, floor, so, lying on my bed slooshying the music, I was like netted and meshed in the orchestra." (Burgess. 37). We see Alex return to his bedroom many times after confrontations where his identity is disputed. Eventually, Alex is conditioned to feel sick whenever he hears classical music so Alex loses this escape method as he can no longer listen to classical music. Also, Alex relies heavily on the use of drugs when he is unable to deal with his loss of identity, " officially sanctioned "milk bars" that serve a variety of drug tonics to send one off on incoherent fantasies" (Gottlieb). These "milk bars" are locations where young people go to get drinks laced with drugs, similar to a bar. Shortly after, Alex is released from his conditioning one of the first things he does is order a drink at the "milk bar" because he feels his identity has been taken away and he does not know what else to do. Consequently, Alex can no longer cope with his loss and seeks a way to evade his life. He searches for a way to commit suicide in a library but is chased out by his former friends; who are now cops. This further upsets Alex since his former friends have shown authority over his old rank as leader. He is ultimately put in a situation where he cannot control his suicidal impulses : "Alex is locked in his room and subjected o an emotionally powerful symphony. Unable to stand it, he jumps from the window, intending suicide." (Olsen). Alex's attempt for suicide was not successful and this further added to Alex's loss of identity because he no longer feels he is in control of his life.
Similar to Alex in A Clockwork Orange, John in A Brave New World, turns to classical art when his identity is questioned. John feels he is socially not accepted, when living in the reserve the others see him as being different because his mother is from the new world. He is also not accepted in the new world because he considered to be a savage. Trapped between two loses of identity, John copes with this by reading classical pieces of literature by William Shakespeare. While participating in an event with the people...

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