Clockwork Orange Essay
This novel is shortonly being about 180 pagesbut looks may deceive you, orin other words dont judge a book buy its cover or its thickness. A ClockworkOrange is actually 360 pages because you have to read between the lines. You maythink that the storys theme is that the future will be filled with horribledecadent violence (that is what I first thought), but if you read between thelines you will understand that this book is written for one main purpose, apurpose other than entertainment.
A Clockwork Orange was written in 1962, storyabout the future which was meant to be around 1995 to 2000 (a car used in thestory called a 95′ Durango). A boy about seventeen, Alex the narrator and maincharacter living in London, rampages about with his droogs (friends)raping, stealing, beating and even killing people. Alex one day is caught formurder and jailed but two years later he is luckily freed twelve years beforehis sentence ends to take advantage of a new treatment for violent people likehim that he volunteered for.
He goes through the therapy and succeeds andreturns back to civilization. He now becomes sick when he is about to commit aviolent or sexual, but also when the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven plays (a minordefect from the treatment). Alex is driven to attempt suicide from this defectbecause he is locked within a chamber playing this song and does not accomplishhis task. He is hospitalized and returns to his ultra-violent self whilethe inhumane treatment does not work because it does not even give people achoice about being violent. While Alex helps to present the theme, two differentoutcomes are formed. First, Alex goes through a great change from beingultra- violent to becoming Lamb-chop and then back to beingultra-violent. Second, the theme defines the major conflict of the story.
Although the conflict does not have to do with Alex directly, he helps toillustrate it. The conflict is not solved in the book and will probably never besolved, but it does bring up for debate what Anthony Burgess thinks about rightor wrong, regarding the controversial situation of a cycle of violence.
Violence makes Violence, is what was once said to Alex by P. R. Deltoid,his teacher from school before he went to prison. This book brings up . What dowe do to someone who has committed a violent crime? Do we punish them with moreviolence, for instance death, or do we help them? This is the problem that hasarisen in this story and also in our daily lives with the death penalty. AnthonyBurgess thinks that the solution to violence should not be violence, but he doesnot give any alternatives. In A Clockwork Orange a new treatment fordisturbingly violent criminals is developed by scientists working for theEnglish government and the government tests it on some convicted violentprisoners. The treatment guaranteed that the patient would turn good and be letout into the free world again. Alex was one of the lucky (because of reducedsentence) people chosen. The treatment includes long days of watching violentmovie clips while a patient is hooked up to a lot of hardware. The treatmentworks because now when a ex-criminal sees or are about to commit cruel violentor criminal or sexual acts you become sick and cannot perform the task. Thisprocedure was thought of to end violence without causing violence, because everyaction causes a reaction. For example, when Alex was free to return to his life,his droogs betray him and beat him up severely in payback for his cruelruling as leader of the team of friends. This might cause Alex to come back andhurt them again, which he considers. This causes a chain of violence that maytake years to end. When Alex is about to go to Dr. Brodsky (the man who willcure him), the governor speaks to Alex. He told him about how these new radicalideas and methods of treatment have been formed (from ultra-violent to alamb), and he does not approve of them. If someone hits you, you hit back, doyou not, the governor said to Alex. The governor means that for each actionthere will be a solution of even more violence. The preceding brings up thequestion of turning the bad into the good or the state should hit backalso like the convict. One thing that is important here is that the state doesnot care about turning the bad into good, but on cutting down on crime and theonly way to do that is cut down on the number of criminals. But by doing thatwith just ways. In the end this resolution is just another violentpunishment because it does not give people freedom and it can then lead todeath. In Alexs case he tried to commit suicide. As you see this problem ofsettling what to do to criminals is already very complicated to solve and maynever be solved, but as it says in the Old Testament, murder will result withmurder (of the criminal) or in other words violence makes violence. This problemis not for me to solve, but I think that an innocent, good and hardworkingperson such as for example Alexs parents should have the right to live inpeace. Therefore, one goal to gain more peace is to try to lessen crime, and todo that, punishments have to be given. If a hoodlum were unpunished he wouldthink he could freely commit horrible crimes again. This means that the convicthas to be stopped and taught a lesson before innocent and peaceful people gethurt. Consequently, protecting good people is more important than not punishinga criminal because the good people might get hurt and not the criminal. Now onlythe judge has to choose who is good and bad. The book and the movie complementeach other. First, the book is less discrete with the theme and the theme in themovie is very direct. Second, after reading the book any questions you mighthave are solved in the movie because the movie is much more clear and it is alsomade for an audience with less intelligence, who come to see violence. Finally,both the movie and the book are alike except that there is more description inthe book and more in-between time between all the important events in the book.
Otherwise, if you read the book first and see the movie second, you willunderstand the question brought up by the theme. I liked the fact that therewere more that 300 words not in English, which were invented by the author andmade from Russian, therefore I had to look up a lot of words in the index, butit was entertaining reading like that. The thing I liked most about the book isthe controversial question brought up and trying to solve it myself. I cannotthink of any dislikes about the book, but I unlike Anthony Burgess, I think thatthere should be a solution to. You may ask what was between the lines and nowyou get your answer: Anthony Burgess explains how violence is not a solution toviolence (violence makes violence), and that is the theme of A Clockwork Orange.