Clockwork Orange

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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A Clockwork Orange Republished in 1986, the novella A Clockwork Orange written by the late Anthony Burgess, depicts the trials of morality a fifteen year old boy named Alex must endure as he chooses his path through his wild and reckless teenage years. Communicating with one-another through there own teenage slang known as nadsat, (everyday words replaced with nonsense words) a gang of teenage "street-punks" (or as they refer to themselves, droogs) command the nightlife, free-wheeling and terrorizing anything and everything they get their sights upon. Alex, a devotee to classical music, (especially to Beethoven's 9th) is the "ring-leader" of the local gang, and he knows that by doing what he does, he jeopardizes himself, his parents love for him, his parole officers respect, and his victims lives, yet it is that lust for violence and control that he loves too much to ever part with"¦ willingly, anyways.

While breaking into an old woman's house one night with his droogs, Alex finds himself in a precarious situation when he is confronted by the owner and realizes that she won't let him leave without a fight.

Thinking he left the old lady unconscious for the paramedics, Alex exits the house only to have his droogs double-cross him and leave him staggering blindly for the millicents as they pull up in their squad cars. His parole officer, P.R. Deltoid, finds no other option but to allow Alex to be sent to prison for what is now know to be murder in the first degree.

Two years into his fourteen year sentence, Alex finds out about a new treatment, supervised by two doctors: Dr. Brodsky and his assistant Dr. Branom, where all that's required is to "viddy films". Alex undoubtedly signed up under the premonition that all he'll have to do is watch videos then be released early - he, instead, undergoes two months of watching "snuff" films, and being injected with a type of serum that causes the him to get sick whenever the sight, or thought of a violent or sexual act enters his mind, as well as get sick off of classical music.

Upon his release from prison, Alex no longer has a choice whether or not he wants to "do the ultra-violent on some shivering starry grey-haired ptitsa" (2) for the serum is now in control of making sure he does nothing naughty. Needless to say, karma comes back to haunt Alex with a vengeance, as victims he once terrorized on the streets now come up to him and beat him mercilessly. His old droogies (who have join up with the millicents) seemingly come to his aide as the law-enforcement, but end up doing what they do best, beat him without just cause"¦ for old-times sake. As it starts to rain, Alex stumbles to a nearby house, pleading for help and refuge from a vengeful world. When Alex awakens the next morning, he quietly realizes that he had stumbled in the direction of a house he had once victimized with his ex-droogs almost three years prior. The owner of the house, and elderly man by the name of F. Alexander, does not recognize Alex, because the night of the incident, Alex had worn a mask. For helping Alex, Alexander requested a favor in return, for Alex to speak-out against the treatment he himself had endured. Shortly after that conversation, Alexander finds out Alex's true identity, and plots vengeance. Alex is drugged, and then awakens in a room where loud classical music is provided to him in abundance (as I stated earlier, along with the treatment, the doctors accidentally made it so that classical music would have an excruciating, nauseating effect on Alex). As Alex screams for mercy, his pleas are ignored, and feeling as though suicide would be better than a life where he has no moral choice, Alex jumps out the window. Fortunately, Alex lives by being given a blood transfusion - which not only saves his life, but also gives him control of his thoughts once again.

3 critical scenes: Alex thrives on violence and being in control. His thoughts of violence without remorse nor consequences fall short, though, when he is arrested for the murder of an old lady. This marks his admission to hell on earth, or "prison" as some would call it.

While undergoing the new treatment, his attitude alterations caused by the serum, and films accompanied by the classical music give Alex a dose of what he dished out onto others - pain. Undergoing this process humiliates and demoralizes Alex, as well as prepares him to get sent back out into the real world, as defenseless as a newborn baby.

Realizing that he's a sitting duck out in the real world, Alex has no other choice but to succumb to anyone and everyone he meets with a smile and good, clean thoughts. After being beaten into submission by his former droogies, Alex finds his only savior was once his defenseless victim a few years back.

One event that significantly shaped Alex's character was the whole time he was undergoing the treatment. His attitude was very oriented on getting out of prison as quickly as possible, while in the process, not realizing exactly what he was getting himself into. Needless to say, his attitude changed from being a violent street-thug, to the paragon of a scientific endeavor, and then finally once out in the real world, he turned into a weak, defenseless shell of his former self.

List of major conflicts: One major conflict that occurred related to the fact that Alex had had the tendency to bully the other members of his gang around too much.

His overall craving to do devious acts mounted together create a major conflict on society.

While under the effects of the experiment, several times had Alex contemplated suicide and whether it would help him ease the pain.