A Clockwork Orange
“A Clockwork Orange” is a profound and somewhat disturbing tale of the ultraviolet future of the human race. Its setting is in the near future, most likely sometime in the early twenty-first century. With this fictional society, Burgess depicts a totalitarian state that incorporates elements of both Soviet communism and American capitalism. Like most of the story’s genre, dystopian fiction, Burgess’ novel can be characterized as a logical extension of contemporary conditions rather than a purely speculative forecast of the future. From the language used in the book, as well as the names of the characters in the story, Burgess portrays strong influence of Russian culture. This is a great story with a suspense filled plot and a deeply insightful theme.
Nadsat, the teenage slang that Alex and his friends speak, represents a mixture of English, Russian, and Burgess’ own made-up language. The use of Nadsat initially makes understanding A Clockwork Orange quite difficult and turns the opening pages of the novel into a very confusing experience. The language helps to draw attention away from the violence more towards the plot, helping to keep a more casual tone. Alex uses Nadsat whenever he describes things associated with violence. In Nadsat; blood becomes “krovvy”; to hit becomes “tolchock”; rape becomes “ultra-violence”; and good becomes “horrorshow.”
The protagonist in Burgess’ novel is Alex, the leader of his gang of teenagers. The Antagonist is harder to define because it is presented from Alex’s point of view but if the story is taken at face value, and you accept Alex’s views as fact, then the government is the antagonist. On February 12th I wrote “It seems as if Alex thinks the whole world is against him and that the government is what is causing all of this. He should stop blaming everyone for the bad situation he is in.” Throughout the plot, Alex struggles with internal and external conflict. He struggle’s with the police and gets...
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