Free Will in A Clockwork Orange

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

What's it going to be, eh? The choice of free will, while letting evil remain prevalent throughout society or condition those to always do good, even at the cost of losing freedom of thought. This is the reoccurring question that keeps challenging the reader in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Almost every moral position of this subject is held by one or more characters in the book. From the Prison Chaplin whose duty as a Christian is to support free will, to the Minster of Interior who feels it is the government's job to protect society from those who wreak havoc. It's only through Alex do we truly understand the freedom of choice and its' down falls.

Alex is one of the first at Staja (state jail) to under go the Ludovico's Technique. This process is a replication of psychologist Ivan Pavlov's famous experiment dealing with classical conditioning, better known as Pavlov's Dogs.

Pavlov began ringing a bell before placing the meat powder or item on the dog's tongue. Each and every time that the bell was rung, meat powder or food was given to the dog. Pavlov repeated these experiments many, many times. Eventually, the bell alone was enough to make the dogs salivate. The dogs could no longer control their own inhibitions of when they did and didn't want to salivate. The same process was done to Alex. He was given a shot before every session to make him weak and nauseous. The drug is timed perfectly to make him sick while watching different film clips that were extremely gratuitous. Each segment ranged from women getting raped to Nazis killing children. Many of these acts where quite the "horror show" that Alex once took pleasure in participating. To make the situation more miserable for this chelloveck,