Violence And Alex's Reclamation In "A Clockwork Orange" General Overview Of A Clockwork Orange, Covering Most Important Factors

2171 words - 9 pages

Nobody is really sure what Conformity is or whether it is a good or bad thing. The two books described below try to find the answer to both of these questions. The two books are; A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and 1984 by George Orwell. They both have a society where someone or something is trying contain the populace. In 1984 the society is being held down as tight as a pinhead, whereas in A Clockwork Orange the government are just trying to keep order, not make everyone comply to their own regulations. That is where freedom comes into it. In both of the books the main characters are trying to break free.Anthony Burgess's main character Alex is extremely complex. During the even ...view middle of the document...

Where normally he would simply destroy anything that was neat and tidy but when he is not with his "droogs" he is a different person.Making up your own language is the way that Anthony Burgess's character manages to break away from conformity and goodness. It is a form of self-expression. By using his own language Alex can express himself in a way that other people can't simply by making up a word to fit it exactly. Nadsat is also used to try and soften the blow made by Burgess and given to the reader. During passages of heavy and "should-be" graphic violence Burgess raises the level of Nadsat talk that is used in the sentences. By doing this he achieves the goal of softening the blow.Another function of Nadsat is to shape an image. Because of the ability to make up any word to describe anything Burgess can use any word to shape an image to his liking. This ability can be used to link to the idea of softening the blow. This is done by using the Nadsat talk to cover up the real idea of what is going on and to leave it to the readers imagination. As the book progresses the Nadsat talk decreases as it has lost some of its value and cannot be left to the imagination.By using Nadsat, Burgess's character tries to break away from conformity he wants to be an individual. Towards the latter stages of the book, when all about him are going mad about his conditioning most fifteen year olds wouldn't have a clue what was going on, but because Burgess endowed his character with the gift of knowledge he understands what is happening to him.In the second part of A Clockwork Orange we see Alex, apprehended by the police after trying to show off to the other members of the gang. He is taken to the police station and beaten up, they all have a go at him. This is a display of how violence that is 'endorsed' by the state i.e. the police beating him up, is not seen as nasty or vicious. But the actions that the character does with his gang are seen as horrendous.Burgess's character, Alex believes him self to be unique. But this belief is shattered when his counsellor, one P.R. Deltoid, spits in his face. Alex has held some respect for this man and the fact that this respected person spits in his face destroys Alex's identity.In the second third of the narrative, the character is in the State Jail. He has been there for two years. The paragraph opens with:"What's it going to be then, eh?"This one sentence that has been present in all of the Parts shows the start of another chapter in the characters life. By now he is no longer a name he is a number, 6655321. This links with the early event in the police station of him being spat at; it destroys his identity.After two years in the jail and one big fight ending in a death, the prison authorities decide to try out a brand new treatment on Alex called the Reclamation Treatment. All the character knows is that after having it you will never be in jail again. The character agrees to this and goes for the treatment. ...


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