A Clockwork Orange: Violence and Corruption

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A Clockwork Orange: Violence and Corruption

Alex, the fifteen year old narrator of Anthony Burgess's novel, A Clockwork Orange, lives in a society where violence reigns. This novel has a very direct nature, and is often blunt to the point of offense, but this makes it more powerful and helps to further its point. This point is that everyone is out for themselves, whether they be the police, government or citizens of this society.

In this book, the police can be just as violent as Alex and his droogs, or gang. In fact, by the end of the novel, his droogs have themselves become the police. The police have no qualms about beating people almost to the point of death as they do with Alex both at the beginning, "...they all had a turn, bouncing me from one to the other like some very weak bloody ball...and fisting me in the yarbles and the [mouth] and the belly and dealing out kicks...I [was] sick...on the floor..." (70) and at the end of the book for no other reason than they feel like it. "...It was all panting and thudding against this like background of whirring farm engines..." (150) There seems to be no difference between the people being beaten by streets punks such as Alex and the police, who are supposed to protect them. The novel begins with the police doing little to protect the citizens, for how else could a fifteen year old kid and three of his friends rule the streets? They also seem to relish beating Alex for the reason that they don't get to do it often. However, by the third part of this book, crime is almost non-existent, but the police are far more brutal. Neither of these scenarios is the better of the two. In fact the cops are not out to help the people, they only want to serve themselves. Alex, during his first beating, confesses and hands his droogs to the police, but the police do nothing to capture them. The reason the people are so afraid "...then a bolt drawn, then the door open an inch or so..." (19-20) is that they...
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