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Free Will in a Clockwork Orange

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Free Will in a Clockwork Orange

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  • April 2005
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"The Importance of Moral Choice"
Choice and free will are necessary to maintain humanity, both individually and communally; without them, man is no longer human but a "clockwork orange", a mechanical toy, as demonstrated in Anthony Burgess' novel, "A Clockwork Orange". The choice between good and evil is a decision every man must make throughout his life in order to guide his actions and control his future. Forcing someone to be good is not as important as the act of someone choosing to be good. This element of choice, no matter what the outcome, displays man's power as an individual. "A Clockwork Orange" starts with Alex posing the question: "what's it going to be then, eh?". Burgess begins the story by demonstrating that Alex and his gang are free to do as they choose. Alex and his "droogs" are rebellious modern youth in an oppressive society. The "droogs" are tempted like all humanity by sin and try to show their hatred for the government with acts of extreme violence. The violent and rebellious behavior is a result of free will, but without the presence of evil, there would be nothing for humanity to choose. Throughout part one of the novel the droogs' choices often result in violent actions harming innocent people. Examples of their "ultra-violence" are rampant: Alex and his droogs choose to rob and assault a man, Alex rapes young girls, and the droogs rob an old "ptitsa" who later dies from Alex's assault. As Burgess says : "evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate…Unfortunately there is so much original sin in us all that we find evil rather attractive". God gave individuals free will, and they are responsible for their actions. The government has no right to interfere with human nature. A person can choose to be good or evil as Alex tries to demonstrate when he says: " what I do I do because I like to do". With this statement, Alex clearly demonstrates that he is responsible for his actions and he chooses to act out...