A Clockwork Orange novel

Topics: Classical conditioning, A Clockwork Orange, Behaviorism Pages: 3 (890 words) Published: June 8, 2011
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 British film adapted from Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange novel written in 1962. The film is about a mischievous and troubled young man named Alex de Large. Alex and his gang of friends enjoy causing harm and watching others suffer. They run around London at night and commit random acts of robbery and rape. Alex, as the ringleader of all the madness, gets caught by the police and is sent to prison. While Alex is in prison, scientists study his violent behavior. The scientists believe that Alex’s evil ways could be fixed through special training. The special training was a conditioning program that would create an unpleasant reaction to the thought of harming another person. As part of the conditioning program, Alex has to inject a serum that will stimulate a death-like paralysis. While the serum is taking effect, he is forced to watch films with his eyes clamped open and his face is wrapped in electrical straps and wires. Alex is forced to watch images of crimes and violence, similar to the ones he committed with his friends, with Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphony as background music. As he watches the images of violence in the films and listens to the music, feelings of nausea and queasiness take over from the serum injections. The images and music both leave a lasting impression in his psyche, relating the sickness to the sights and sounds he experienced. The doctors watch his reactions and record his behavior. They predict that Alex will associate his personal suffering with the violence he sees. After his treatment is finished, Alex is declared to be cured and he is released from prison. Alex runs into his old gang friends shortly after he was released and they brutally beat him. He could not fend for himself because of his treatments in prison and he is left to die. After recovering from the brutal beating Alex discovers that he is no longer repulsed by violence or Beethoven’s music and is back to his old self.

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