Dissecting a Clockwork Orange Essay

1825 Words Sep 10th, 2010 8 Pages
“You men need to tuck away your penises and surrogate penises (guns), because you will never get anywhere with them. Masculinity is a myth and a dead end.”
- Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic A Clockwork Orange is an interesting beast. The film has been vilified, banned, condemned on artistic grounds and yet it survives. The film’s hallucinatory visuals depicting a strange, narcissistic modernistic society, steeped in seventies art deco and harsh, contrasting lighting, paint a bleak, uncompromising picture. Kubrick’s use of implied violence, death and cultural destruction throw the viewer into a hellish, emotional marsh of pessimism and hate.
Reviewed by Tim Dirks the title of the film is explained: “The controversial
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Our hero's all charm but no virtue. He's cool, but he's no good guy. He goes around inflicting damage and we enjoy watching it. At the same time, aware that everything that's happening is bad, we feel profoundly guilty. The paradox of A Clockwork Orange in respect to the standard violent movie is that it does not let our bloodlust off the hook. We can't pretend it's anything else.
Alex, appeased by the government with a good job (interesting comment on political ‘morality’) is presented with massive speakers blaring the Ninth Symphony’s final bars. Alex imagines what many critics have mistakenly called a rape scene. The scene is not rape or even violent. It depicts Alex having sex with a girl on top. She’s definitely in control. A social circle resembling a wedding party is looking at them in applause. This scene seems to signify that Alex has been civilized after all. His sexual instincts are re-instated but they are socially adjusted. Perhaps Kubrick’s suggesting that old chestnut – marriage: the solution to male aggression.
There is an obsession with sex that permeates throughout the movie. Whether it’s Alex raping somebody, having consensual sex, thinking about sex, or being in a situation where sex is alluded to (the bar with the erotic, female shaped tables; his home with penis graffiti on the wall; the nurse and doctor at the hospital; the murder weapon at the woman’s house), the idea that it is a motivation in art, in crime, in society, is

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