A Clockwork Orange

Topics: A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, Nadsat Pages: 3 (847 words) Published: January 28, 2014

This Must be a Real Horrorshow Novella if you're so keen on my Viddying it.
Anthony Burgess’ 1962 dystopic satire, A Clockwork Orange takes place in a future Londonesque city governed by a repressive, totalitarian super-state. In this society, ordinary citizens have fallen into a passive lethargy of complacency, blind to the illusive growth of a rampant, violent youth culture. Our Humble Narrator and anti-hero is Alex, a sly, witty, charming, Beethoven loving 15 year old nadsat who heads a party of sociopathic droogs,” that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim” who terrorize the streets in their nightly orgies consisting mostly of ultra-violence (rape), tolchocking (hitting), and crasting (stealing); all done because as Alex says, “What I do I do because I like to do.” Alex’s radical lifestyle which he lives freely is soon stolen from him by the state through the “Ludovico Technique,” the state’s classical conditioning rejoinder to turn ‘Alex types’ into good, controlled citizens.

Burgess most notable literary device is his use of nadsat. An invented, hyper-intensive teen slang that joins bits of Russian and English, Alex uses nadsat to describe the world of A Clockwork Orange, “so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one or two other veshches which would give you a nice quite horrorshow fifteen minutes.” At first, the novella feels distant and withdrawn, but Burgess purposefully employs this façade so the reader is removed from the violence that Alex and his droogs carry out, “So he did the strong-man on the devotchka, who was still creech creech creeching away in very horrorshow four-in-a-bar, locking her rookers form the back, while I ripped away at this and that and the other, the others going haw haw haw still.” Even in Alex’s most terrible act of ultra-violence, you find a fog in transparency that allows for such things to seem enjoyable and dramatically amusing, giving the novella a poetic impression.

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