A Clockwork Orange – Literary Response Essay

Nadine Gordimer. South African author and Nobel Prize victor. said that perforating fiction doesn’t give replies. it invites inquiries. This quotation mark is accurately reflected in Anthony Burgess’ novel. A Clockwork Orange. in which many inquiries and moral values are explored. Burgess strongly believed that humans’ ability of pick is the lone factor separating us between animate beings or machines. The two most prevailing repeating subjects of and inquiries associating to the fresh involve ‘good V evil’ . and ‘fate and free will’ .

The novel begins with the words: “what’s it traveling to be so. eh? ” . through which Burgess poses a actual inquiry that finally leads to pick. and is ever asked before finding one’s destiny. This inquiry introduces all three parts of the novel. every bit good as the concluding chapter. The repeat emphasises the symmetrical and symbolic construction of the book. It besides echoes one of the aforesaid explored subjects: destiny and free will. The fresh concludes with Alex eventually make up one’s minding ‘what it’s traveling to be’ . by him consciously make up one’s minding to fling his old violent and ‘evil’ wonts.

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Society and faith recur often in A Clockwork Orange. and each clasp similar positions and sentiments refering pick and good vs. immorality. In Part 1. Chapter 4. Alex admirations why ‘evil’ is analysed and goodness is non merely universally strived for. but accepted as the norm: “They don’t go into the cause of goodness. so why of the other store? Badness is of the ego. the 1. the you or me on our oddy knockies and that ego is made by old Bog or God and is his great pride and radosty.

But the not-self can non hold the bad. intending they of the authorities and the Judgess and the schools can non let the bad because they can non let the ego. ” Here. Alex refers to society and authorization as the ‘not-self’ . He believes that people are born ‘evil’ . and suggests that conditioning human-kind to be ‘good’ removes individuality. The transition concludes with Alex stating. “I do what I do because I like to do” . which is about animalistic in the sense that his action depends entirely on desire. impulse and replete.

In Part 2. Chapter 3. the inquiring of destiny and free will is asked yet once more. from the position of Christianity. The chaplain refers to the Reclamation Treatment – a physiologically imposed behavioral alteration that would render the incapableness of executing ‘evil deeds’ – which Alex is to undergo. He asks Alex if God wants goodness or the pick of goodness. ( “Is a adult male who chooses the bad possibly in some manner better than a adult male who has the good imposed upon him? It is interesting that the inquiring of free will is articulated by the novel’s spiritual figure. and that this clip. it does non come from Alex himself. but is instead asked of him.

The chaplain admirations if good Acts of the Apostless are morally valueless if performed without free will. and if forced benevolence is in fact more evil than wickedness itself. Although he rhetorically directs this to Alex. he is basically inquiring the reader’s sentiment. because it is indicated in old chapters that Alex disagrees with the conditioning of ‘goodness’ .

The inquiry is left open-ended and unsolved for the reader to construe. Thus. instead than being didactic. ‘penetrating fiction’ does beg more inquiries than it answers. It allows the reader to pull his or her ain decisions. instead than implementing a peculiar point of position. In A Clockwork Orange. this is true in a figure of ways ( as demonstrated ) . but most strongly in footings of the invariably revisited subjects ; good vs. immorality. and destiny and free will.

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