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Clockwork Orange, From Breakthrough Novel To Breakthrough Film

1718 words - 7 pages

A Clockwork Orange, a breakthrough novel by Anthony Burgess, seems to be a story about a horrific future where evil rules the streets, when in actuality it is a story between the give and take of freedom and control. The book pushes the boundaries of modern literature by tackling subjects that were previously taboo. He covers nearly all forms of sexuality and violence, but at the same time tries to show the reader there can be humor in these unmentionable acts. For example, in one point in the story our main character Alex actually kills one of his victims with a 4-foot statue of a large penis, however horrible the murder actually is, you cannot help but find some humor in it. The book was ...view middle of the document...

It was directed by a controversial director named Stanley Kubric. The movie had a powerful impact upon our culture. It brought all of Anthony Burgess' ideas of ultra-violence into full picture and color. The adaptation by Kubric was criticized because of its depiction of such horrible crimes in great detail. It was even almost banned in England because of its violent nature. The movie did for the Hollywood world, what the novel did for the writer's world. It opened up a new chapter of what was acceptable on the big screen. Pop culture now thrives on this type of humor, a so-called dark humor that is seen in many popular shows such as South Park and the Simpsons. This whole genre was opened up because of films like a clockwork orange.The story starts out with our beloved main character Alex and his four droogs sitting around the acid milk bar trying to decide what part of civilization they should attack that night. The first act of violence in the book is when they ruff up on old man on the way back from the library. They tear up all his books and leave him hurt to stumble into the night; this shows the gangs hatred of civilization, which is represented by the library. They seem to want to try to make a chaotic rule over their so-called territory, and they get pleasure from it. Alex is the leader of their gang, and he rules with an Iron fist over the rest of his droogs: Georgie, Pete, and Dim. They sometimes step out of line and Alex has to remind them who is their boss. One day the crew decides to turn on Alex and they leave him bloody and hurt only to be picked up by the cops, this is where our friend Alex starts to make his change from a free thinking man, to a pre-determined drone.After all the crimes that Alex committed the court sentenced him to 14 years in prison, and he will no longer be known as Alex, but only as 6655321, which is the number he is assigned. The numbers represent anything that the government controls, no longer is Alex actually a person, he is just a small spec in the large de-personalization process. In his first few years of prison he is controlled, but only to a point. They can control what he does by chains and bars, but they cannot control his thoughts and his feelings. We are reminded of this when Alex is kneeling before a statue of Jesus in church and he daydreams about how much joy it would give him to be one of the Romans who gets to spike Jesus to the cross. It gives him great pleasure just to think about it. While the government controls his physical actions, Alex is obviously still not ready for the real world. It would be impossible to send him back into society with his thoughts of murder and rape driving him to commit crimes. As long as Alex still has the freedom to think about what he chooses he is not totally controlled, but the government tries to change that.Alex is accepted to be part of a new experiment where they try and condition him only to do what is good so that he can be inserted back into...

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