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A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess

By: Anthony Burgess

Anthony Burgess is a true literary genius who has created one of the most controversial novels of in literary history, A Clockwork Orange. Burgess was born on February 25, 1917, and passed on November 22, 1993 at the age of 76. He is responsible f
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
or some of the best novels of our time. Burgess was the author of The Malayan Trilogy, The Enderby Series, The Doctor Is Sick, Honey for the Bears, Nothing Like the Sun, The Wanting Seed, and many more. A Clockwork Orange was published in 1962, and the film, directed by another amazing human being, Stanley Kubrick, was released in 1971. Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest directors in the history of the film industry and has created some of the best works of our time. He is the creative master who has directed Fear and Desire, The Killing, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, Lolita, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut. I fully recommend his films and encourage you to view some of them.

A Clockwork Orange is divided up into 3 sperate books each with 7 chapters. Until recently, the 21st chapter had been omitted from the novel for being too controversial. I was fortunate enough to read the copy that was published in 1986 with all 21 chapters intact.

A Clockwork Orange is a vivid and extraordinary tale on the future of juvenile crime, complete deprivation of human choice, and growing up. Alexander DeLarge (Alex) is our humble narrator and the story follows his life as a fifteen year old growing up in 2017 London. Alex is a tortured soul who chooses the path of the ultraviolence and crime. When we first meet him, he is in the Korova milk bar with his three droogs, G
1986 Book Cover
1986 Book Cover
eorgie, Pete, and Dim. They have a bit of the old moloko plus and begin on their evening of fighting, beating, and rape. After a quick buzz from the Korova, they beat an older man, get into a britva and nozh fight with a rival gang, and steal a Durango 95. From here they enter upon an interesting looking house titled “HOME”, where they proceed to rape and eventually kill the woman living there and mercilessly beat her husband, who is a writer working on a novel titled A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. After leaving HOME in a mess of chaos and death, the four chellovecks depart for home themselves. After a few nights of the ultraviolence and rape, Alex gets caught in the act of robbing, and beating to death an elderly woman who lives with several cats. Ou
Film Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Film Directed by Stanley Kubrick
r humble narrator is picked up by the rozzes without even being defended by his so called droogies and is sent to the staja for a life of pain, torture, and suffering. After two years of prison life, Alex catches wind of a revolutionary process that is sure to have him out of prison in a week or so. This process is called the Ludovico technique in which the patient is subject to injections of horrible drugs that make you insufferably ill whenever you watch the videos that are being forced into your mind by means of glazzy clamps and wires shooting out of your gulliver. It is a terrible process that is disgustingly successful and proves to be such with Alex. He is forced to viddy films about the holocaust, gang violence, rape, and murder. While watching these films, the injected fluids take into effect making him ill to the point of near death. These “doctors” have been completely successful of ridding Alex his basic human rights and making him sick to his stomach whenever he so much as thinks about the things that once made him the happy chelloveck that we used to know and love. He is released from prison only to find his family disowning him, his friends betraying him, and no one caring the least bit about him or about the horrible things that happened to him while undergoing the Ludovico technique. He meets up with his old droog Dim to find him a corrupt millicent who beats him nearly to death in the outskirts of town. While laying, beaten in the fields outside of London, he comes upon an interesting house titled HOME and suddenly remembers everything about that night and becomes sick to the point of unconsciousness. He knocks on the door to find F. Alexander, the old writer welcoming him into his home with open arms. Alex is so thankful for this kindness, but never mentions to him that he was the cause of his wifes death. F. Alexander
Alex undergoing the Ludovico technique
Alex undergoing the Ludovico technique
has heard about the terrible things that happened to Alex while in prison and asks him to do a demonstration of his new and conformed lifestyle. He agrees and goes through several encounters of violence and displaying the effects of Ludovico’s technique for the public. Alex becomes so hateful with himself that he attempts suicide. He jumps off his apartment window hoping for that to be the end of everything. To his demise, he survives the fall with a fractured spine and some bruises. While in the hospital, the doctors run tests on him and discover a way for Alex to get his human life back. They have successfully reversed the effects of the Ludovico technique, and our humble narrator is back once again. He is cured. When he is healed from his injuries, he is back out on the streets partaking in the activities he had two years ago. He doesn’t feel quite right about it all though. Something is missing. Something is lacking in his life. After leaving his new gang for the night he stops at a coffee shop to think things over a bit. While he was at the shop, he runs into his old droogie Pete and his wife. Yes. His wife. Alex is stunned by this and becomes fascinated. He realizes that he isn’t the same person he was two years back. He is something so much different. He is growing up and needing something more out of life. Our lovely tale ends with Alex hanging up his britva for the last and final time.

A Clockwork Orange is a very advanced book with difficult diolouge. When you read it, other things are involved as well, such as memorizing Nadsat, a language that is a combination of Russian and invented slang. It was not on the Outstanding Books list for a number of good reasons. The mature content was taken to a new level in this book, and several young people wouldn't find the beauty in it. Even for some of our honors students this book would be intensly challenging. The language requires you to think in a new way that most are not accustomed to doing. In my personal opinion, I would recommend this book to only certain people. People I know would be able to fully appreciate the writing and people that would enjoy it. Out of five stars, I would credit this book with every single one. It is a fantastic story with deep meaning and purpose, and it really questions some important social issues such as human choice. If you may be interested, please feel free to ask me for a recommendation.

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Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. Copyright 1986.