A Clockwork Orange - 5

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Maeve Doolan

September 13, 2012

Honors English

A Clockwork Orange

Good vs. Evil

In the novel A Clockwork Orange the reader almost automatically differentiates the good characters vs. the bad characters without any hesitation. The author does a great job of categorizing the good and bad in the novel; the bad being almost all youth and the good being the obedient parents who follow through the motions of living. However the obvious good and bad characters can surprise you throughout the novel and flip roles. It almost seems as if every main character is bad, the number one being Alex, the protagonist of the story. Yet Alex does turn into a good character in the middle of the story, only to yet again turn bad. Whereas F. Alexander we see as a good, helpless, heartbroken man, who surprises you as a reader turning into a selfish manipulative man. The real questions are can we force characters to be good or bad? And will characters ever change from good to bad, or vice versa?

In the first part of the book the author states, “Alex leads a small gang of teenage criminals, they run through the streets robbing and beating men and raping women.” When the reader reads just that small excerpt, it is easy to tell that Alex is a villainous character. The scene where Alex breaks into the cottage beating the husband and brutally raping the wife pushes the character from bad to psychopathic. All of Alex’s gang members in the book would also be classified as bad; they all enjoy beating and raping men and women as well as filling people of their society’s eyes with terror. However as you can tell from reading A Clockwork Orange, Alex gets a greater pleasure out of violence than his other gang members, almost as if violence is the key to happiness for Alex. After the treatment makes Alex hate violence to the point of sickness, the reader starts to think of Alex as a good character. Alex is now defenseless and helpless, when he is mugged...
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