Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange is a story about a hypothetical future, the likes of which mankind should never hope to see. The book starts off in England, in a little bar in a small city. Here we meet Alex, the protagonist of the story, and his "droogies", or friends as they say in NADSAT, the hip, Slavic rooted lingo of the teens. Alex is the boss of his three friends, a criminal boss, and they are all about to go out on a night of pillaging and ransacking. Throughout the night they commit heinous acts of violence, stealing, and Alex ends up raping a poor woman by the end of the night. After all is said and done there is a small quarrel within the group of "friends" and they decide to call it a night and continue with the shenanigans the next day. The next day, Alex is betrayed by his friends and caught by the police. In jail, the government, in their desperate attempt to quell the unstoppable crime rampant throughout the country, use a corrective behavior technique calle Ludovico's Technique. The technique strips away the ability to choose one's actions freely, instead replacing the violent action with one of benevolence. While in this helpless state, Alex is kidnapped by two police officers, one of which was his old gang rival, and one who was his own friend who betrayed him. They leave him in the country side to fend for himself. Luckily for Alex, there is a small village nearby where he finds a place the stay. This man, F. Alexander, we learn is the husband of the lady Alex rapes at the beginning of the story, we find out that this lady died from the trauma. F. Alexander soon learns of Alex's true identity and decides to use Alex to overthrow the government, driving Alex to kill himself and blame Ludovisco's Technique on his death. His suicide attempt fails, but still raises an uproar throughout society. With this uproar, the government, in an attempt to stay in power, fixes Alex. Alex then goes back to a life of crime, but soon tires from it and realizes that violence is not all there is to life. the book ends with Alex day dreaming about raising a son, the right way.

In the story, Alex is not given the right to choose between right or wrong. Is forcing good onto others a good way to fix violence?

Ludovisco's Technique also stripped Alex from one thing he truly enjoyed in life, Classical music, what would you do if you had something you enjoy stripped form you, and every time you even thought about it you were brought to your knees in pain?

14 comments:

Allie H 11-12 said...

I love Clockwork Orange! But anyways, answering the 2nd question, I think it was unfair that Alex was stripped from one of the things he truly enjoyed in life. He did a lot of sick and immoral things throughout his life, but to be taken from something so simple and pure that makes you happy is wrong. If this happened to me, I would feel like I was missing something in my life. If I was not able to listen to my favorite music and felt physically ill every time I heard it, I would just yearn to hear it again. I would feel sad a lot of the time because I would feel like a part of my life was missing.

allie s 11-12 said...

I dont think forcing good onto others is very good, because no matter the situation, eventually they will retaliate. And to answer the second question, i would hate having my art taken away from me.I would never feel full again, so i would try anything to get it back. And if nothing worked then i would try to get over it, but always feel sad and depressed :)

Heather M. 13-14 said...

I dont believe that forcing good onto others is a good way to fix violence. I understand that the idea behind it is to try and make the world a better and less violent place, but this isnt the way to do it. Forcing good onto someone who has been bad or violent throughout their life is not an effective way of trying to change someone. No one will easily give in to having themselves changed, especially if they are having an extreme change forced on them, such as violent to good.

Mike B 13-14 said...

I dont believe that forcing good on others is a good way to fix violence. I dont think forcing someone to act in a certian way helps at all i think they need to change for themselves. You may be able to focrec them sometimes but if they have violent tendencys they will just commmit violene again.

Julie S. 5-6 said...

I personally think that forcing good on people defeats the purpose of them doing good. Preventing bad through laws and regulation should be how to handle that and not forcing good. An action can only be considered a good deed if it is done voluntarily. When it is forced by threats of danger or bribery then the good is useless.

JessieW 11-12 said...

To answer the second question, I would be very upset if something I loved was stripped from me and caused me pain. It's not right to take away someone's only enjoyment in life. In Alex's case they doctors probably should of used the classical music to change Alex, not make him hate it. I would probably end up being more violent then before cause I would be bitter about my enjoyment being taken away.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, I think that forcing good onto others in an attempt to combat violence would only provoke the violent acts to occur more and possibly even to a greater degree. I think that it is crucial for governments to have laws set in place in order to help protect its citizens from violent uprisings; however, if one should occur, forcing good onto the people commiting the violence would only be counterproductive. To answer the second question, if running were stripped from me I would feel as if I would never be able to be who I truly am again. It has shaped me and made me the person I am today; therefore, ridding it from my life would have a drastically negative impact on my life. I would undoubtedly fall into a depression because I would not be able to do the thing that I love doing.

David G. 13-14 said...

I think that forcing good to try to prevent violence would only provoke a greater act of violence eventually. Eventually parts of the public would band together and cause violence, whether against supporters of the government or possibly the government itself.

Leah A 5-6 said...

I don't believe that forcing good onto others is a good way to fix violence. People need to act and think for themselves. In order to fix violence, they need to choose to do good rather have it forced on them.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

I don't think that just forcing good upon another person is a viable way to fix violence on its own. For it to work the person needs to be willing to change and they need to be made aware of why the "good" way is better and what the effects of the good action would be compared with the bad action.

If I could no longer do something that I liked and I was put in pain when I thought about it then I would probably try and find something else to occupy my time as I would not want to be in a lot of pain. It would be difficult but if it was essential for me to live a life where I could actually do things then I think I would have to learn to enjoy something else.

Dana D 11-12 said...

1. You can't force good into anyone. Good only really comes when someone has the personal motivation to do so. I work at the Farmpark and we get a lot of people who are doing their court appointed community service hours because of some crime they've committed. Those people are technically doing a good thing. But it doesn't make them good. And being forced to do the community service doesn't fix the violence or theft or whatever else they were accused of because we often see them return due to another crime.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

1. obviously violence isnt the right answer to anything cause thats how our generation was taught. to us its the right and just thing to teach people the right and good ways to handle certain situations but its not right to force someone to think and do something just because you believe its right. we can only show and guide people into the right direction or try and persuade them to do the right thing but if they dont want to do what you think they should do it would be rather difficult to force them since they dont want to. obviously when it comes to certain situations like violence a force of action needs to be taken but only to an extent that still preserves that persons rights and ability to know they have some sort of say and decision that they can make for themselves as well.

Steve S 13-14 said...

I agree that our basic rights as human beings is the right to choose between right and wrong. And I'm not sure how long anyone could take being deprived of joys in their lives

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Graded