A Clockwork Orange Analysis

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A Clockwork Orange is a novella by Anthony Burgess, set in a distant future of London where teenagers run rampant, raping, killing, and thieving. The State, the antagonist of the story, has tried to stop the ultra-violence by imprisoning the offenders to no avail. When the main character, Alex, was taken to jail, the government tried to control him by brainwashing him to feel pain every time the urge to break the law seizes him. Throughout the story, Burgess questions whether people should be allowed to make their own moral choices, even if they are in the wrong. To make the readers examine if all humans should truly follow their ideals, Alex is a true dichotomy. He is unblemished and pure evil, an immature teenage boy and wise beyond his years, knowing the corruption of the government better than an average citizen. He adores classical music and yet can bring himself to the lowest brutality of inflicting pain on another human being for his own pleasure. He is the epitome of a typical member of the modern youth, dressing in the most fashionable clothes, hanging out at the Korova bar, and speaking in Nadsat (teenage slang), but at the same time he is cultured in opera and classical music. Alex is a mix of the most vile trouble and irresistible appeal. He feels that in choosing to be evil, he is choosing to be human, and that evil is the natural state for all human beings. The State, however, disagrees with him. It tries to strip him of his choice to be himself, violent or not. His struggle against his totalitarian government represents the struggle of human nature against the automaton, the individual against the mass as a whole and freedom against necessitarianism. In taking away Alex’s free will to be violent, the State is a greater evil than Alex. Turning him into a will-less shows that the State considers human nature to be utterly
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