Essay about On The Surface Of A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess

1391 Words Nov 21st, 2016 6 Pages
On the surface of A Clockwork Orange, a novel by Anthony Burgess, there appear to be two sides, a “good” side in the form of religion, and a “bad” side in the form of the State, a totalitarian government. However, there is not a clear juxtaposition between the two sides. Despite the fact that Catholicism is thought of as being an institution of the highest morals, and efforts are being made by the State to eradicate behaviors that are deemed detrimental to society, there are no noble institutions or characters in the novel. On the one hand, the church and other religiously associated characters, such as The Governor, act ignobly by cowardly refusing to stand up for their beliefs and also by promoting violence. On the other hand, however, the State who wishes to eradicate all destructive behavior by using questionable methods, such as Ludovico’s Technique, is equally as unacceptable as the church. Through the use of role reversal and religion, Burgess critiques totalitarianism by having all sides in the novel do their part to rid Alex of his autonomy.
Despite being the head of the prison, and therefore a representative of the State, the Governor is also a highly religious figure. Religion a side in the novel, depicted primarily by the prison Chaplain, is thought of as being against the State. Burgess uses role reversal to continue to confuse the reader into not knowing who the moral and immoral characters are. As Alex is dragged to the Governor’s office, on page 93, at the…

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