Social Responsibility In A Clockwork Orange And Lord Of The Flies

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“Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.” How do Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange and William Golding in Lord of the Flies reflect violence and social responsibility? …show more content…
Burgess also examines the absence, or ineffectiveness, of adult role-models in A Clockwork Orange. Alex’s parents appear largely absent in his life and their suspicions about his nocturnal habits are hardly pressed: ‘Not that I want to pry, son, but where exactly is it you go to work of evenings?’ Burgess names Alex’s Post-Corrective Adviser P.R. Deltoid – a name of artificiality and coldness, state-sanctioned and reminiscent of the faceless anonymity of communist regimes of the time and hardly the kind of supportive counsel a disturbed teenager might need. When Deltoid asks of 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 you?’, there is no clear answer offered. This may be the question the reader wants answered too, but Burgess refuses to openly judge Alex. He is by far the most alive and charismatic character in the narrative and the reasons behind his choice to brutalise others remain ambiguous. Like Simon in Lord of the Flies, Deltoid fails to understand the rationale behind brutality. Alex believes, just as Jack does, that it is more honourable and authentic to act on impulse than on rational, responsible thought: ‘[t]his biting of their toe-nails over what is the cause of badness is what turns me into a fine laughing malchick. They don’t go into what is the cause of goodness, so why of the other shop?’ Deltoid does not, or chooses not to, understand Alex and it is his falsified recommendation that leads to Alex serving a fourteen-year prison sentence. When Deltoid spits in Alex’s face during his incarceration, we actively abhor the role of the state in his downfall, despite his own inarguably abhorrent

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