A clockwork Orange



A Clockwork Orange
by
Anthony Burgess


This novel is short–only being about 180 pages–but looks may
deceive you, or in other words don’t judge a book buy its cover or its
thickness. A Clockwork Orange is actually 360 pages because you
have to read between the lines. You may think that the story’s theme is
that the future will be filled with horrible decadent violence (that is what
I first thought), but if you read between the lines you will understand
that this book is written for one main purpose, a purpose other than
entertainment.
A Clockwork Orange was written in 1962, story about the future
which was meant to be around 1995 to 2000 (a car used in the story
called a 95\' Durango). A boy about seventeen, Alex the narrator and
main character living in London, rampages about with his “droogs”
(friends) raping, stealing, beating and even killing people. Alex one day
is caught for murder and jailed but two years later he is luckily freed
twelve years before his sentence ends to take advantage of a new
treatment for violent people like him that he volunteered for. He goes
through the therapy and succeeds and returns back to civilization. He
now becomes sick when he is about to commit a violent or sexual, but
also when the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven plays (a minor defect
from the treatment). Alex is driven to attempt suicide from this defect
because he is locked within a chamber playing this song and does not
accomplish his task. He is hospitalized and returns to his “ultra-violent”
self while the inhumane treatment does not work because it does not
even give people a choice about being violent.
While Alex helps to present the theme, two different outcomes are
formed. First, Alex goes through a great change from being “ultra-
violent” to becoming Lamb-chop and then back to being “ultra-violent”.
Second, the theme defines the major conflict of the story. Although the
conflict does not have to do with Alex directly, he helps to illustrate it.
The conflict is not solved in the book and will probably never be solved,
but it does bring up for debate what Anthony Burgess thinks about right
or 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 do we do to someone who has committed a violent
crime? Do we punish them with more violence, for instance death, or do
we help them? This is the problem that has arisen in this story and also
in our daily lives with the death penalty. Anthony Burgess thinks that
the solution to violence should not be violence, but he does not give any
alternatives.
In A Clockwork Orange a new treatment for disturbingly violent
criminals is developed by scientists working for the English government
and the government tests it on some convicted violent prisoners. The
treatment guaranteed that the patient would turn good and be let out into
the free world again. Alex was one of the lucky (because of reduced
sentence) people chosen. The treatment includes long days of watching
violent movie clips while a patient is hooked up to a lot of hardware.
The treatment works because now when a ex-criminal sees or are about
to commit cruel violent or criminal or sexual acts you become sick and
cannot perform the task. This procedure was thought of to end violence
without causing violence, because every action 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 cruel ruling as leader of
the team of friends. This might cause Alex to come back and hurt them
again, which he considers. This causes a chain of violence that may take
years to end. When Alex is about to go to Dr. Brodsky (the man who
will cure him), the governor speaks to Alex. He told him about how
these new radical ideas and methods of treatment have been formed
(from “ultra-violent” to a lamb), and he does not approve of them. “If
someone hits you, you hit back, do you not,” the governor said to Alex.
The governor means that for each action there will be a solution of even
more violence. The preceding brings up the question of turning the bad
into the good or the “state should hit back” also like the convict. One
thing that is