Anthony Burgess: The importance of moral freedom for all in A Clockwork Orange
Moral freedom is one of the most if not the most important of any freedoms available for humans. Moral freedom is the ability to either choose to perform good and bad deeds or both. Totalitarian governments take away one’s individual choice and thus, suppresses and suffocates thee soul. The setting in A Clockwork Orange, is a general parallax to a totalitarian and oppressive government. Alex the main character is the representative of the common man, and his struggle in this type of government. In the novel, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess suggests that the ...view middle of the document...
His deep love for classical music like Mozart, Beethoven, and G.F. Handel, can be seen clearly. In the morning he decides not to go to school, and he ends up violently raping two “devotchkas”, again displaying his moral freedom to be bad. That same night, they try to rob and old “psitsa” that has a hundred cats living with her. Alex ends up killing the old lady, but he gets caught by the “millicents” and will be tried as an adult.
While in court, Alex promotes his innocence and blames his companions. “ Where are the others? Where are my stinking traitorous droogs? One of my cursed grazhny bratties chained me on the glazzies. Get them before they get away. It was their idea, brothers. They like forced me to do it.” (74) But his pleas are futile as he gets sent away to the Staja, also known as a penitentiary. From that point on, Alex feels oppressed by the small cells full of older criminals. Although these brutal situations fit Alex, he realizes that only repentance and good behavior in the eyes of the officials can release him from the jaws of justice. So in order to be viewed as a reforming criminal Alex turns to religion. He plays the music during religious ceremonies and becomes good friends with prison chaplain. However Alex’s intent on reforming was not a religious aspect but the quickest so he can get revenge on thee traitorous droogs and return to his thuglife. He hears about a new technique, “the Ludovico Technique,” will get him out quickly. He talks to the chaplain, but the latter casts shadows about it by retorting: “I must confess I share those doubts. The question is whether such a technique can really make a man good. Goodness comes from within 6655321. Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.” (95) This does not deter Alex from the thought of an early release but only makes his desire for it greater. He is picked to be the first test suject of the new Ludovico technique.
The Minister of the Interior comes to the Staja, and Alex is selected for the new technique. With the augmentation in population comes an increase in crime too, which brings new techniques to “cure” or “fix” the criminal mind. The minister says: “The government cannot be concerned any longer with outmoded penalogical theories. Cram criminals together and see what happens. You get concentrated criminality, crime in the midst of punishment…Kill the criminal reflex, that’s all.” Alex thinks its an ideal solution, to become good and free at the same time and get out quickly, nothing wrong with that at all. But he does not realize that his eagerness is blinding him from the oppression and he is being robbed of his moral freedom.
The prison chaplain, again tries to warn him:
“Very hard ethical questions are involved…You are to be...