A Clockwork Orange And A Streetcar Named Desire Dysfunctional Family Relationships Haybridge High School Year 12 Essay

1713 words - 7 pages

Compare the methods used to present dysfunctional family relationship in the A Clockwork Orange and A Streetcar Named Desire.
Burgess and Williams present dysfunctional family relationship in A Clockwork Orange and A Streetcar Named Desire through detachment, betrayal and abandonment.
Dysfunctional family relationships within both texts is portrayed through detachment. In A Clockwork Orange Burgess’s childhood desire to have a mother and father role model is expressed through Alex’s disregard for his uninvolved parents. Critically, Davis states that “Alex’s lack of any functional family system in which he can interact with mature and fully realized adult selves manifests itself in his own hyper-exaggerated sense of pseudo-self”. This is shown through the theme of power, where Alex’s family nature deviates from the traditional family relationships, where he believes he has “thought them”. This suggests the lack of parental control his family have over Alex, their “only son and heir”. Burgess uses metaphoric qualities where “thine only son and heir” could emphasise the role of his parents shaping up Alex’s character not classed as significant since they are vulnerable to Alex’s violent occupations, clearly implying Alex’s family are of a weak structure where his parents refuse to challenge Alex’s behaviour. This metaphor could also suggest Alex’s lust for power as he has lived a childhood where he is regarded as a monarch, and fails to see any relevance to his parents participation in his life. Burgess emphasises detachment where youth will commit to anything in order to keep their hierarchy. He associates Alex’s parenting style with his own, absent and depraved, as their only concern is the protection for themselves individually, from the cruel society and “young hooligans”. Furthermore, Alex shows strong authority over his family as he “gave him a straight dirty glazzy, as to say mind his own and I’d mind mine”. This preconceived negativity and disbelief in successful, lasting family relationships affects the way Burgess, and Alex, developed socially, such as Alex’s behaviourism towards his droogs, seeing them only as his “unders” or the control Alex holds through the authorisation of power. Burgess uses dramatic irony where Alex easily bribes his father and leaves his family “with loving smiles all around”. On the whole, Burgess symbolism of “loving” is only repeated when Alex’s parents are described, suggesting the irony of the adjective “loving” as his parents show nothing but unconditional love. Similarly, in A Streetcar Named Desire, the portrayal of dysfunctional family relationships can be recognised with Williams own unhappiness within his family background due to the violent nature regarded with his father and his institutionalised sister. This suffering is reflected by Williams through the dysfunctional characters of Stanley and Stella through the theme of power. Williams uses animalistic imagery to represent Stanley as an angry...

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