Final Exam: A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1986.
A Clockwork Orange is a book set in a nightmarish future society, where criminals take over after dark. The book is centralized around a teenager, Alex, who is the leader of a gang consisting of Alex and his three “droogs” (friends) Georgie, Pete, and Dim. They steal from, beat up, torture, and sometimes rape their victims. The most inventive part of the book is the brutal slang language called “Nadsat” used by Alex and his droogs. The language is a mix of English and Russian.
Anthony Burgess uses a very unique style as a novelist, one that I doubt has been used many times before. Burgess tells it from Alex’s point of view, but the whole book is written in “Nadsat.” For example, words such as “eyes,” “hands,” and “punched” are replaced with “glazzies,” “rookers,” and “tolchocked.” The language is very effective in portraying the psycho world Alex lives in. It, however, creates the dilemma of becoming “fluent” in Nadsat for the reader.
The most interesting part of the book is the vast amount of violence and the extremely uncensored descriptions Burgess uses. It was very beneficial to the overall understanding of the hell Alex was creating and experiencing. The descriptions provided very intense imagery.
There were two major conflicts in the story, both of equal significance. The first conflict was Alex vs. the State. Many times throughout the novel, Alex has run-ins with the police. Alex, at one point, is sent to jail, which is where his biggest conflict with the State occurs. The State tries to reform him using fear and pain which ends up backfiring. The second conflict is Alex vs. himself. This is a much deeper conflict; Alex is a very progressive character, and throughout Part 3 of the novel he experiences vast inner turmoil. He is violent, then a fortnight later is sickened by it. Alex...