A Clockwork Orange

Topics: Psychology, Behavior, A Clockwork Orange Pages: 4 (1440 words) Published: September 23, 2013
Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novel set in an oppressive, futuristic state. Published in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is an extremely intense, graphic, and, at times, horrifying novel. A reader begins to question their own values as they become numb and desensitized to the violence at hand. Both behaviorism and free will is occurring throughout A Clockwork Orange. A Clockwork Orange brings up a question, how much control of our own free will do we actually have? Do we really control our own lives, or are they subject to the cards we are dealt? In A Clockwork Orange, behavior analysis and free will are displayed.

Human nature has long since been in question. Alex is an extremely interesting character. He is a brutal human being who evolves as a character only to fall back into his original state. It’s almost as humans are a blank slate. They are subject to the environment around them and they are molded by that environment. Alex longs for power. When he has it, he wants more. Alex has an almost dictatorial presence about him. He lives a life with no discipline and unfortunately suffers the consequences. His longing for power leads to his downfall and horrific rehabilitation. Alex undergoes a terrifying reconditioning. Alex is strapped to a chair, drugged, and tortured. He is subject to the oppressive government in which he lives. Alex's life takes a complete 180. Instead of being powerful, he is now powerless. Although Alex's wrong doing is taken to an unimaginable extent, does he have the choice to be bad? Is the conditioning that he experiences morally right? Can people take away his free will?

Free will, defined as freedom of action by Roy F. Baumeister, is a central focus of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. Burgess decides to take a character who is, by most moral standards, evil, and transform him into the protagonist. At points in the novel, a reader forgets the horrific things that he does, and begins to feel...


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