Conduct Disorder in the Film a Clockwork Orange

Topics: A Clockwork Orange, Antisocial personality disorder, Conduct disorder Pages: 5 (1797 words) Published: January 12, 2013
Kristen Kleiner
Abnormal Psychology
July 19th, 2012

Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange is set in futuristic Britain. The main character and narrator, Alex DeLarge, is the leader of a sadistic teen gang. Alex introduces his “droogs”, or friends, as Pete, Georgie, and Dim. After getting intoxicated at the Korova Milk Bar, they perform a series of “ultra-violent” crimes. This includes beating a homeless man, fighting a rival gang, and theft. They also play “Hogs of the Road”, a game in which they steal a car and drive recklessly with the intention of causing harm to pedestrians and/or other drivers. They decide to carry out a “surprise visit”, where they go to a stranger’s home and pretend to be in danger in order to gain entrance. They sing and laugh while harming their victims, a married couple. The man is beaten, bound, and forced to watch his wife being brutally raped. The gang then returns to the Korova for a nightcap. This is when we discover Alex’s love for classical music, and the discontent that the gang feels toward their arrogant leader. Alex returns home to his parent’s house. He has a drawer full of stolen goods. He listens to Beethoven before going to sleep. The joy he finds in classical music is strongly related to the elation he feels throughout acts of ultra-violence. The next day, Alex plays hooky from school. His parents appear to be very passive, lacking the courage to create boundaries. They believe that Alex is out late due to his “jobs”. Later that day, Alex has sex with two unfamiliar girls. Afterwards, he quarrels with his droogs about a scheme that Georgie constructed. As the gang walk along a marina, Alex clubs Georgie in the groin and kicks him into the water. Dim swings his chain at Alex, who ducks out of the way, resulting in Dim in the water as well. Alex deceivingly offers his hand to Dim; when he reaches for it, Alex cuts him with a knife. It appears that everything is restored while the gang further discuss Georgie’s plan. It involves another surprise visit to a cat lady’s home. Rejected at the door, Alex enters through an upstairs window while his droogs wait outside. The cat lady has already called the police. Alex bashes her with her colossal phallic sculpture and leaves. When he joins his droogs, Dim smashes a full bottle of milk on Alex’s face and he goes down. He is apprehended, told that his victim is dead, and sentenced to fourteen years in prison. Two years into his sentence, Alex becomes interested in the Bible. He fantasizes about whipping Jesus and enjoys the stories of torture. Alex is chosen by the Minister of the Interior to participate in a two week experimental reform technique, and is transferred to the Ludovico Medical Facility. Alex is injected with a substance that makes him feel sick while he is forced to watch a montage of vicious scenes involving brutality. Later films are accompanied by classical music, more specifically, Beethoven. As he comes to associate sickness with violence, the whole idea of violent behavior becomes so overwhelming that he would rather die than consider it. Alex returns home to discover that his parents have rented his room to a lodger. A victim from his past recognizes him and attacks him. Two police officers intervene. The officers are Alex’s old droogs, Dim and Georgie. They drive Alex to a country road and take him to a low water tub, where they hold his head under water and beat him. Left alone, Alex stumbles up the road to a house of a past victim, Mr. Alexander. He recognizes Alex from the newspapers, but not initially as the person that raped his late wife and put him in a wheelchair. Alex is drugged and slowly regains consciousness in a locked room upstairs. Mr. Alexander and his affiliates are downstairs, blasting Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Alex leaps out of the window because of the distress it induces. He awakens in a hospital bed a few weeks later. Alex is welcomed by his parents, the government’s “cure”...

References: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
Options for managing conduct disorder. (2011). Harvard Mental Health Letter, 27(9), 1-3.
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