A Clockwork Orange This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Stir together two cups TheCatcher in the Rye, one cup Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and several spoonfuls of TheGiver in a bowl labeled bildungsroman. Add three tablespoons of first-personnarration, a pinch of Shakespeare, and a dash of science fiction. Mix vigorouslyfor 21 chapters until thoroughly combined. Finally, garnish with a symbolic titleand serve to millions.

This recipe for success makes Anthony Burgess's AClockwork Orange a novel packed with easily relatable themes for teenagerseverywhere. It tells the story of a teenager living in a futuristic world andexperiencing problems facing all youths. Paralleling adolescent speech, Burgessadds depth to his fictitious world by inventing a futuristic slang. Withovertones of Latin and Shakespearean language, the slang is a bit confusing, butmakes Burgess's strange world believable.

As the story opens, thevillainous protagonist, Alex, is shown creating unrestrained terror with hiscompanions (even beating to death a cat-loving old lady after breaking into herhouse). Like teens today, Alex shows a need to belong to a group that will sticktogether. Although violence is heightened in the future realm, juvenilesdemonstrate basic principles of banding together to fight for theirbeliefs.

Alex's uncaring attitude to-ward his parents mirrors therebellious views of teens toward their guardians. Although many of the problemshe faces are exaggerated (he must beat up and steal from people nightly or elsehis "friends" will turn against him), the dilemmas Alex confrontsfollow the same basic principles as troubles that face today's teens. Throughoutthe book, Alex exposes teens' true feelings while he travels on a wild ridethrough city streets, prisons, government testing labs and a slew of otherplaces.

Despite obvious differences in setting, teens everywhere canrelate to the themes and events in A Clockwork Orange. Even 40 years after itsoriginal publication, the book continues to endure, holding a special place onbookshelves.

In the tradition of Jekyll and Hyde, the book examines theconsequences of attempting to rid a person of evil. Also, like , the storydelves into the importance of freedom among all creatures.

Above all, thestory demonstrates that people do change as they mature. Humans, especiallyteens, were never intended to represent a stagnant, unchanging "clockworkorange."


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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