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Power Of Choice In Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange

1405 words - 6 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

a slave.

 

       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...

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