The Life and Work of Anthony Burgess Essay

1869 Words Sep 25th, 1999 8 Pages
The Life and Work of Anthony Burgess

"Autobiography: Story of one's life, written by oneself."(Halsey 64).
Everyone knows what an autobiography is, but not so many people realize that although not all authors write a book that can be called a factual autobiography, many authors frequently allow personal, real life experiences to influence their fictional writings. An excellent example of such an author is Anthony Burgess.
Anthony Burgess is recognized today as an English novelist, critic, essayist, and composer (editor CLC 80). Burgess is such a literary genius, it was once said of him that "... his agent, publisher, and his entry in "Who's Who" could not provide the exact number of books he wrote." (Baldwin A8). Some of
Burgess's
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A Clockwork Orange is a novel that deals with the violence of youth in the future. The Narrator is a fifteen-year-old child of the streets that enjoys beating the helpless, raping the defenseless, and robbing the penniless. About half-way through the novel, Alex is caught by the authorities. They attempt to reform him from his life of crime by using a controversial new technique that forces Alex to become physically ill at even the thought of violence. In the last chapter of the book, Alex is able to break free of the mental chains that the reform had captured his soul in, and reinstate his existence as a creature capable of moral choice by reentering his life of crime (Burgess A Clockwork
Orange).
Throughout the rough biographical sketch given, certain points in may be selected in which events in Burgess's life can be shown to have heavy influence on A Clockwork Orange. Burgess published A Clockwork Orange in 1962, a time in
England that was marked with a great amount of crime and very violent youths.
Burgess himself had once cited this setting as the source of, or at least the inspiration of the stories of horror and violence told in this novel (Baldwin
A8). The narrator of this book is the main source of these horror stories.
Alex is cheerful in his life of crime, and is high-spirited about beating the

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