A Clockwork Orange: Summary

Synopsis: Young Alex and his gang members (Dim, Pete and Georgie) go on a rampage around the futuristic city in London. In the book what we call evil is actually a form of art to Alex. Alex loves art itself, particularly classical music. To Alex, the delight he finds in classical music is closely related to the joy he feels during acts of violence. The State’s destruction of Alex’s ability to make his own moral choices represents a greater evil than any of Alex’s crimes, since turning Alex into an automaton ultimately sanctions the notion that human nature is dispensable.
Alex truly grows as a human being only in the last chapter, after the government removes his conditioning and he can see the error of his ways for himself, without the prompting of an external, controlling force. The slang used by the “Droogs” represents the social gap between youth and the elders of society. Aspects: Music: Music in this book is one of the main aspects. Music affects everyone in a different way. Alex when he listens to symphonies especially Ludwig Van Beethoven, he gets stimulated to do more violence. Good is bad and bad is good: A regular teens would go to school and have a part time job to make money.
As we would think school, having a job, working for yourself is good for you. In a Clockwork Orange everything is switched around. Basically what the young adults find good is like robbing stores, raping women on the street, having gang fights, the good old ultra violence. Satire: The dystopia of A Clockwork Orange has a very satirical tone. The aspect of satire in the novel is in the form of political commentary. Alex and his gang deprive the community of moral choice and free will, limiting their personal freedoms. In this way, Anthony Burgess conveys an anti-totalitarian message in the novel.

The futuristic dystopian society of the novel is a completely exaggerated claim of what a totalitarian government would lead to. In an attempt to prove the point that a deprivation of personal freedoms would be catastrophic to the world, Burgess paints a picture with absolutely no happiness, a picture painted satirically. Theme: If personal freedom is a justifiable sacrifice for comfort and social stability. His treatment shows that government would rather have a faceless society that shuns emotion and motive. Maturity: When Alex in the end shows that he wants too mature into an adult when he confronts or meets Pete.

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