Beethoven Music in the Clockwork Orange

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Kris Heller
Music History: Beethoven
An Interpretation of Beethoven's Music in the Film "A Clockwork Orange"
"A Clockwork Orange" is the story of a young and disturbed man who, in order to avoid his prison sentence, subjects himself to a controversial new treatment to correct his unlawful behavior. Stanley Kubrick, the film's creator, uses Beethoven's music to penetrate the complexity of the main character's actions and emotions. Beethoven's music acts as his salvation, providing him with pleasure and relief from the violent lifestyle he created, but in the end it becomes the force that tears him apart.

The main character, Alex, and his gang of four, Dim, George, and Pete, spend their nights drinking psychedelic milk at the Korova Milkbar interspersed with stealing, fighting, and raping women. Alex is an avid connoisseur of classical music, preferring Beethoven. He becomes enraged when Dim acts disrespectfully while listening to a women singing one of Beethoven's works and ends up fighting him and George. Alex is very sensitive and respectful when it comes to Beethoven's music because it's his passion and takes him to through his own euphoria. The gang gets vengeance by beating up Alex and leaving him for the police to find. Alex is sent to prison, because of his previous crimes, and is selected to participate in a new two week therapeutic program called the Ludovico treatment, referring to Ludwig Van Beethoven. The process consists of being under the influence of special drugs while listening to Beethoven and watching extremely distubing videos. As a result he becomes a man who is normal in society but lacks control over his own actions and therefore unable to do any harm to others. He was conditioned to becomes physically sick whenever he has bad intentions. After he is released, he is confronted by people whom he had previously killed or tortured and becomes agonized by his conditioned reaction to breaking the law. In an attempt to...
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