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A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess

2289 words - 9 pages

Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange has been placed under much scrutiny by literary critics and readers everywhere. Furthermore, this highly criticized novel contains a myriad of ways to engage with the work, whether it is from the psychological or ethical perspective. Through College Literature Journal’s article “O My Brothers”, the unnamed author draws interesting connections between the main character’s development and how pseudo-families and pseudo- self plays a part on this said development. The author of this article generates an association between Alex’s pseudo-families who have not accomplished what families are expected to accomplish in one’s life, and the way that Alex behaves because of it. Interestingly enough, the author states that because of Alex’s families lacking in the required support and life changing opportunities that families must have, his behavior in the novel is wholly justified and typical. Ultimately, the author is attempting to state that because of his negative interactions with the pseudo-family in the work, he is “…unable to effect the process of morphogenesis that might provide him with the means for finally glimpsing a mature…self” (O My Brothers 23). So, because of Alex’s destructive relations with this pseudo-family, he cannot help but act the way he does, due to the pseudo-family preventing him from developing and growing as an individual. However, as stimulating as these associations are for readers to delve into and endeavor to understand, the article has major flaws in its development. These flaws not only make it difficult for readers to understand the fundamentals of the argument and its structure, but they also leave the argument severely lacking in the support that it requires to make it viable.
Whereas this article creates a thought-provoking perspective concerning the role that Alex’s family plays on his development, there is a hindrance to this argument that readers have difficulty overcoming. This hindrance is the fact that A Clockwork Orange is written through Alex’s perspective. The author draws multiple conclusions from the work, but due to the fact that the readers are only offered the world through Alex’s eyes, they experience completely diverse things. For instance, the article goes into great detail concerning the use of Nadsat and what it signifies about Alex. The article states that when Alex speaks utilizing Nadsat, it “...connotes his social dislocation and his emotional separation from the world beyond the self” (O My Brother 26). However, as readers it is difficult to see this concept due to the fact that Nadsat is so integrated into Alex’s language, and he utilizes it in such a flippant manner that it is not questioned by readers. Furthermore, it does not seem to readers that Alex is in any way socially dislocated, due to the fact that he has his group of “droogs” and is seemingly content with his life. Moreover, the author delivers a statement that creates surprise within its...

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