A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

September 30, 2011
By Eoghan Gallivan BRONZE, Oxford, Massachusetts
Eoghan Gallivan BRONZE, Oxford, Massachusetts
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A Clockwork Orange is a phenomenal novel that emphasizes the importance of free will. Anthony Burgess illustrates a futuristic society where youths run rampant raping and pillaging with no regard to authority. With his unique style, Burgess instills a vibe in A Clockwork Orange unlike any other novel. He describes the height of fashion in this new society from the hats to the boots and creates a new form of slang employed as dialogue throughout A Clockwork Orange. The disturbing scenes of violence and rape are depicted vividly but add to the essence of A Clockwork Orange.

The protagonist and narrator, Alex, is a fifteen year old boy who leads a small gang of four on nocturnal violent escapades. Alex and his “droogs” or followers, lack an understanding of right and wrong, violence pacifies their aggressions with no remorse. When Alex makes it clear that he is the leader to Georgie, Dim, and Pete they take offense and compose a plan to set up their faithful partner in crime. After his incarceration Alex hears whispers of an experimental therapy rumored to “cure” criminals and allow their immediate release. Alex fails to heed the warning of his former parole officer when he tells him “…goodness is something chosen. When a man can not choose he ceases to be man.” (95) Alex chooses to participate in this therapy and shortly afterwards is released from prison. After his release, Alex realizes returning to his old way of life is not an option.

A Clockwork Orange is an interesting and different novel to read. Burgess is able to create an in depth plot that sucks its reader in. With his new age slang and twisted narrator the reader almost feel as if they are inside the head of a psychopath while reading. If you are looking for an obscure book to read, I highly recommend A Clockwork Orange.

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