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A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess

1540 words - 7 pages

A Clockwork Orange is a book written by Anthony Burgess. It takes place in a somewhat futuristic Britain. The book is written with the point of view of the anti-hero, Alex. Alex is a 16 year old criminal who is involved in rape, violence, murder and robbery throughout the book. The book is divided into three parts, each part with seven chapters (three times seven is twenty-one, the official age of adulthood in Britain, where the book takes place). The first half of the book focuses on Alex’s criminal lifestyle, the second focuses on Alex’s rehabilitation in prison, and the third is based on Alex’s entry back into society.

The novel opens with Alex and his gang (he calls the three members ...view middle of the document...

Alexander’s wife with him watching. After heading back to the city and escaping, Alex and his droogs decide they have had enough for one night and Alex retires to his home. After making up an excuse to stay home from school, he is paid a visit from his parole officer, named P.R. Deltoid. Alex pretends to be improving his behavior, just so Deltoid will leave, and it works. Later that night, Georgie challenges Alex for leadership of the gang by committing a small crime, namely robbing an old woman. After threatening Dim and Georgie with a knife to get his droogs under control, Alex goes to rob the old woman in her house. He accidentally knocks the old woman unconscious and panics. The other three droogs leave him alone at the doorway, where they betray him by calling the police. The police beat him up, and it is found the next day that the old woman has died. Alex is charged with murder and is sent to prison.

After living in prison for two years, Alex gets a job as an assistant for the prison chaplain. He amuses himself by reading the Bible, taking joy in the violent content in the book (like the crucifixion of Jesus). Alex then learns about the death of Georgie through a cell mate. He was apparently killed by his intended victim (who acted in self-defense, and thus was not charged with any crimes). He accidentally helps to kill a fellow prisoner, and is then forced to become a subject in the first major trial involving an experimental technique called the Ludovico technique. He undergoes the treatment, in which he is given a drug that makes him very nauseous. He is obligated to watch violent and disturbing clips for two weeks. With his eyes forcefully held open, he has no choice but to comply. One of the films plays Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Alex’s favorite piece of music, as he is a fan of classical music), and Alex becomes distraught. Alex begs the scientists to turn off the music, and they refuse. This serves as mental torture for Alex.

Following Alex’s Ludovico treatment, he is presented to government officials as a perfectly rehabilitated citizen. Alex sees just how well the treatment worked when he finds he cannot defend himself from attack. The clinicians demonstrate their achievement to an audience. He is then shown a naked woman, but Alex finds he cannot touch her nor defend him self without feeling nauseated. His mind has associated violence with nausea due to his treatment. These effects are thought to be permanent, and Alex also sees the most devastating drawback: he loses his ability to enjoy Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Alex is then released from prison, where he encounters many of his previous victims. They all seek revenge and Alex’s treatment takes effect: he is unable to defend himself. He happily goes home, thinking he can turn over a new leaf, but he sees his parents have basically replaced him by renting his room to a lodger. Alex is miserable and stumbles upon the Korova Milk Bar. He forgets the bar serves...

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