belonging

Topics: Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange, Ludwig van Beethoven Pages: 7 (2605 words) Published: November 13, 2013
In essence, an individual’s interaction with others, whether that interaction is positive or negative, can either enrich or limit their experience of belonging. The idea that negative interactions between an individual or others is directly related to their limited experience of belonging is extensively explored within Peter Skrzynecki’s St. Patrick’s College and Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, as the protagonists in each text have a limited experience of belonging due to their negative interactions within a group majority. The idea that negative interactions within a group dynamic can lead to a limited experience of belonging is further explored in Stanley Kubrick’s film, A Clockwork Orange, through the rebellious protagonist Alexander de Large and his inability to belong to society as a whole as a result of the sadistic actions he inflicts on people. The audience is introduced to the protagonist in the opening scene through an intimate close-up shot of his smirking face and piercing blue eyes. He dons one fake eyelash and an elaborate top hat, symbolically the mockery of a civilised society, and it is through this intimate close-up that the audience realises that the character of Alex is i n fact an evil one. This is further reinforced in his character’s name, “A-lex”, which literally means ‘without law’, showcasing that Alex is a character with a “law unto himself”. This choice of character’s name, coupled with the intimate close-up, demonstrates that he does not care for positive interactions within society and this therefore limits his sense of belonging to the group, but enhances his sense of belonging to himself. Alex’s psychological thirst to rebel is glorified and represented by the non-diegetic musical underscore of Ludwig van Beethoven’s ninth symphony, a piece which reiterates ironically throughout the entirety of the film as a recurring motif of violence. The symphony is heard primarily in the scenes in which Alex is deep in sadistic thought, which is ironic in that Beethoven meant to convey human goodness through its four movements, further demonstrating the protagonist’s desire for negative interactions with others, leading to limited experiences of belonging. What Beethoven meant to convey is vastly different to what Alex hears, and this also displays that his sense of security to himself allows him to commit evil towards the community and therefore develops a barrier to belonging to the community. The concept of belonging is essential. To belong is to form a connection which will allow a sense of identity, without this we lose our humanity; however, conformity is in a sense a facade of belonging, as it restrains our freedom and forces us to only mimic. My studied texts show how society demands us to conform, yet conformity prevents a sense of true identity being ever created. This notion is elaborated in the novel, A Clockwork Orange. Alex is a criminal who doesn’t belong anywhere within society. In the novel, the government attempts to suppress his criminality by physically preventing him from thinking of violence—thus making him conform to their standards. This is a prime example of how society attempts to make us conform to what is considered ‘normal’. Towards the end of the novel, the character F. Alexander tells Alex: “They have turned you into something other than a human ... being. You have no power of choice any longer. You are committed to socially acceptable acts, a little machine capable only of good.” The quote shows us the central theme of the novel; if we cannot choose where we belong we lose our humanity—thus showing us the value of choice as well as the value of individuality. The metaphor and imagery of the title, a clockwork orange, symbolises what conformity does to a man. If we cannot choose where to belong we cease to be human but clockwork, or some type of mechanism. We need to be able to choose where we belong, for if it is not chosen its authenticity ceases. The novel ends...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay
  • Belonging Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free