Moral Choices In Burgess 'A Clockwork Orange' By Anthony Burgess

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A Clockwork Orange Project Society is structured on a system of laws meant to protect the innocent and punish the perpetrator. Without these laws, nations would be without their moral compass, with nothing pointing to true north. Citizens would fall into the practice of performing actions only to benefit themselves, not caring about the greater good of the community. Therefore, it is one’s system of government which sets in stone the notion of right and wrong, good and bad, and the laws which force behaviors deemed acceptable. In Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, society is controlled by a government which attempts to protect its citizens, but falls short because of the corruption within its branches. Furthermore, Burgess addresses the …show more content…
Contradictory to my opinion, Burgess supplies evidence in his novel, A Clockwork Orange to counter my claim through the details concerning Alex’s upbringing. Deltoid questions Alex, “You’ve got a good home here, good loving parents, you’ve got not too bad of a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside?” (Burgess 43). This detail juxtaposes my claim because logically Alex has no reason to be bad, no traumatizing factor or abusive family that forced him to perform acts of crime. He purely is bad because it makes him happy, not that there is a devil crawling inside of him like Deltoid thinks. However, Alex’s society is not without faults. Even individuals like Deltoid fall into the same patterns of sin as Alex, just on a smaller scale. “Then he caught sight of an advert in the gazetta, which was on the table- a lovely smecking young ptista with her groodies hanging out to advertise, my brothers, the Glories of the Jugoslav Beaches”, it is prevalent through the vivid imagery of Deltoid being tempted by inappropriate and illegal magazines that the system itself is corrupt (Burgess 42). If men of great stature like Deltoid are supposed to help the struggling youth fail to make the right choice when …show more content…
This structure, consisting of mirror descriptions, shows the dramatic change in Alex’s characterization from his life of crime to his life post Ludovico’s Technique. The stark contrast creates the reader’s sympathy for Alex as the old men yell “kill him, stamp on him, murder him” as Burgess went on further to vividly describe their brutal retaliation on the youth (Burgess 163). This tone of sympathy is important because it brings forth the notion that life is better when a character or an individual has the choice to choose between right and wrong, instead of being helpless in one’s own body. Before reading A Clockwork Orange, I expected myself to be in favor of such a technique, believing much like the Minister of the Inferior that it would result in a safer environment. I, much like the government in the novel, considered the surgery as a means to an end, not fully taking into account the fact that a human being would be striped of his personality and dignity due to this torturous procedure. It was through the motif of music used throughout the course of the novel by Burgess that I came to understand the complexity of such a procedure, that it did not just take away Alex’s criminal instincts, “the first graduate from the new State Institute for Reclamation of Criminal Types, cured of his criminal instincts in a fortnight only, now a good law-fearing citizen and

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