A Clockwork OrangeA Clockwork Orange, written by Anthony Burgess, is a book designed to instigate much further thought and analization than what is needed by just reading the book itself. It?s controversial topics stick with the reader throughout his or her whole day. There are three main things that made this book more thought provoking than most others: the ?slang? used, the detail given about the many different events that took place, and the ironic sub-topic of the book.
Mr. Burgess, to add effect to his book, had created virtually a whole new language. At first, it was confusing, but as the book developed, so did the slang used by the characters. This was a really great effect because the more you got into the new language, the farther it brought you from reality, thus the farther it brought you into this new atmosphere. This helped make the book much more ?closer to home? to the reader since they now felt that they were actually a part of this whole new world.
When brought into this whole world, the feeling of the events that took place in the book is much stronger. Almost forgetting reality, the reader is sucked into feeling like he or she is a part of what is going on, and that makes the book stick with the reader, which is what any author?s ideal outcome is.
Another way Mr. Burgess added to this book was by using insanely precise detail. Also, the fact that you were reading from the main gangster?s point of view, and that he wasn?t disturbed by anything that he was doing made it even creepier. Even when using the strange language so you couldn?t understand it as well as if it were in plain English, the main idea of what was going on was still sickening. These pictures also stick with you when you read them, which in turn makes you dream about them, or even talk to another person about them, which in turn might make them, read the book also. This is a definite plus for any author, and Mr. Burgess made sure to have that shocking effect on his readers.
The third, and most effective technique was the use of such a controversial sub-topic. As if the plot wasn?t controversial enough, the whole question of morals was brought up in this book. Especially since the book was from the gangster?s point of view, and you could tell what he was thinking in comparison to what his actions were, the reader is split between what is right and what is wrong. In the book, Alex, the narrator, is forced to only do good things. The thought of doing bad will actually physically make him sick. At first, this seems like a good idea, but when you read on in the book, you realize that Alex is not actually steered from evil at all. He thinks about doing bad things, and he wants to do bad things, he just gets physically sick when he thinks that way so he has no choice but to think otherwise. But the insincerity is clearly to be seen. So on one hand, He has stopped being a wrong doer, but on the other hand, he has also stopped being capable of moral choice. Now, if you share the concern about the congestion prisons, and cutting down crime, then everything is fine and well, but if you are concerned with the idea of choice, then the fact that he only chooses to do right because of his self-interest, and fear of physical pain will not satisfy you one bit. With these thoughts in mind, it is very difficult to decide whether it is a good or bad thing that Alex cannot do anything wrong. It?s great that he is being good, but it is disturbing that he has to be that way. And what is even more confusing is once near the end of the book once this physical pain fades away from Alex, it is possible that the reader is almost glad that he is back into his old, evil ways, because at least it is human choice rather than force. This awkward situation is sure to stick with the reader for days and days after reading A Clockwork Orange.
These three techniques used by Anthony Burgess made the book much more interesting, and much more thought provoking than was originally expected of it. Without any one of these ideas, the book wouldn?t have been nearly as effective as it is, and there wouldn?t be nearly as much follow up conversation on the book as there is right now. Mr. Burgess is a very clever writer, and he absolutely knew what he was doing when he wrote A Clockwork Orange.