A Clockwork Orange: the Novel

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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess portrays the problem between order in society and the freedom of individuals. The novel represents the universal values and dangers of all societies due to this fundamental conflict of choice and individualism. The freedom of individuals must be limited in order to achieve stability and order within society.

The antagonist of A Clockwork Orange is fifteen year-old Alex, a vicious boy with constant violent impulses. Alex rapes, steals, and murders because it simply feels good. This violent way of life makes him feel astoundingly alive. Alex enjoys being evil and takes pleasure in seeing blood flow, describing it as "beautiful" and "lovely." His individuality and power gives him freedom, but only at the cost of his victims' safety and well-being.

Natural law philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, argued that any person's right of nature justifies violence against everybody else. Every person has the right to do whatever is necessary to ensure self-preservation. In Alex's point of view, his only way of survival is to commit acts of violence in order to feel exuberating and alive. Alex has the right to judge what will ensure his survival. If Alex decides that being a brutal and malicious boy is sensible, then he has the right to act accordingly. Despite how rarely human beings judge wisely, the natural right to judge still remains.

In Part 2 of A Clockwork Orange, Alex is arrested and placed in a new experimental procedure called Ludovico's Technique. The serum injected into Alex makes him sick, as he is continuously forced to watch violent and sexually explicit films. Alex experiences the effect of the serum, which is brought on by viewing sex or violence. Ultimately, even without the serum, Alex automatically becomes ill when he sees or thinks of violence. Due to the procedure, his violent impulses are inhibited by his own physical response. During a test to prove that Alex is truly cured of his violent impulses, Alex's prison...
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