“There is a little Alex in all of us”
In Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange one important question keeps popping up throughout the whole book. The question is does goodness exist in this novel? “Burgess novel is troubling and frustrating on a number of levels. He has presented us with a stark image of evil, and perhaps of a greater evil in attempting to counteract it” (Newman 68). I would have to say that no one in the novel is good. From beginning to end; page after page in one way or another someone is behaving badly. Each character is causing another character pain or discomfort whether physical or emotional for their own personal satisfaction. In saying this question that comes to mind is what is good vs. what is bad? “The choice between good and evil is a decision every man must make throughout his life in order to guide his actions and control his future. This element of choice, no matter what the outcome, displays man’s power as an individual.”(Freeclo par. 1). The biggest problem in the book is that everyone seems to be caught up in a power struggle trying to dominate or force everyone else to do what they want. Alex is clearly a bad or evil person. His droogs are bad due to the fact they do bad things to people and society at large (rape, murder, assault). Yet are others characters in the story bad for doing bad things to Alex or might they simply just making life a little bit unbearable for him from time to time. Who’s to say who is really good or bad? Alex does his fair share of bad but so do others. The Millicent’s who beat Alex up are just as bad as Alex. Yet they do it in the name of the state therefore their abuse is acceptable. One of the Millicent’s who treats Alex bad is actually one of Alex’s old friends that he used to raise all kind of Cain with Alex. Alex thought it was horrible when he was beat and raped but he never thought how bad it must have felt to the people he was raping and beating up. For a brief moment in the book it seemed as...
Cited: Cullinan John English Language Notes 9.4 (1972): 287-92
“freeclo Power of Choice in Anthony Burgess’A Clockwork Orange.” 123HelpMe.com 06 Dec 2009 http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?=13281.
Newman, Bobby. “A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: Burgess and Behavioral Interventions” Behavior and Social Issues 1.2 (1991): 61-70
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