A Clockwork Orange


"Violence makes violence"

From A Clockwork Orange, 1971

Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange according to research information in 1962. The book was said to be very disturbing at the time. The story was based on a futuristic look at England through the eyes of a young charismatic man who has a very dark side. He loves classical music but he also enjoys raping women.

The story is said to promote social commentary about the use of psychiatry, young gangs, and socio-economic subjects as well as political issues which are taking place in England in the totalitarian future according to research information.

The film A Clockwork Orange released in 1971 was based on Mr. Burgess' book with the film's adaptation written by Stanley Kubrick. Mr. Kubrick also produced and directed the movie according to research information.

The film stars Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates and Warren Clarke. The Clockwork Orange film would be called satire and science fiction by some reviewers according to information obtained. The film is concerned about old music, rape and violence. It also explains the horror crimes of a renowned gang, their capture and their rehabilitation. The design of the movie was created by Bill Gold.

Alex is the main character in the film and narrates the movie in a first person singular voice using a fractured combination according to research of English, slavic and Cockney rhyming slang. He leads a gang of droogs as they are called, his buddies if droogs was translated into Russian. They drink milk at the milkbar laced with drugs to get themselves ready for the mischief they perform at night according to research on the film.

The Clockwork Orange movie opens according to information obtained with Alex and the droogs at a milkbar having their favorite tonic, drugged milk. That night they go on their usual crime spree by assaulting an older person walking home from the library, stepping on a street bum, engaging in a brawl with a rival gang, beating up and robbing a news store employee, and stealing a car to go joy riding in the country.

They break into a cottage that they came upon, beating up the husband and raping the wife who lived there. The man at the cottage was writing a book called A Clockwork Orange, the strange title remained with Alex according to his narration in the film for the rest of his life.

Alex is eventually arrested and taken to jail after other robberies and sexual assults of women. One of the people he beat up died and he was told in jail that he was now a murderer. He is sent to prison and after two years gets a job there as the assistant to the prison chaplin according to information obtained on the film.

Alex is brought to court and tried for murder charges and is promptly sentenced to 14 years of jail. After serving two years of his sentence , he reads the Bible pretending to be interested in religion. He hears about a program called the Ludovico technique, where a prisoner can be released if he goes through this two week treatment which is called aversion therapy. The treatment is said to cause the person not to commit any crimes after undergoing the treatment.

Alex is selected to be the first to go through a full-scale trial of the Ludovico technique according to research on the film.. They play classical music during the treatment which Alex begs them to stop doing because he will not be able to listen to his beloved music after this, they refuse.  

Alex is given a drug which causes him to be extremely nauseous while he is made to watch very graphic violent acts on film for two weeks while strapped in a straight jacket. The graphic violence presents real time scenes of Nazi Germany. After two weeks, his behavior is much improved. He is unable to reply to an actor who hurls insults at him.

After passing all these steps Alex is deemed to be cured and he is immediately released from prison. When he returns home his possessions have been confiscated by the state people.

As he thought by the end of the sessions he cannot listen to his classical music without getting sick and nauseated. They present him as a rehabilitated inmate ready to re-enter society when the treatment ends according to information obtained.

When Alex gets out of prison he is unable to defend himself against people who recognize him as the man who hurt them and he gets beat up by many of them. Scantily dressed women make him sick now.

Someone calls the police on him recognizing him as their attacker, the police beat him up and leave him on the edge of town. He stumbles around and winds up at the same cottage that they had broken into years earlier. The husband was still there but the wife had died of her injuries. He did not know Alex because they had worn masks during the attack.

The man decides after remembering the treatment that Alex had undergone from reading about him in the newspapers, to make Alex a poster child for the victims of fascism. The man and a friend later decide to lock Alex up and torture him by playing classical music for whatever reason. Alex starts to go mad and jumps out of a window landing in the hospital.

Government officials want to downplay Alex's suicide attempt so if he will cooperate with them, they promise him a high paying job. His parents take him back into their home and Alex starts to contemplate going back to his old ways. He gets a new gang together at the milk bar.

They go out beating up people but Alex does not get the same thrill as he used to get. He leaves his new gang and starts to think about getting married and having a child but wonders if a child of his would be as terrible as he had been. This thought and narration by Alex at the end of the film supposedly leaves the audience thinking according to research information on the film that violence is childish.

Anthony Burgess is said to have explained that the title of his book A Clockwork Orange was a methaphor for "an organic entity, full of juice and sweetness and agreeable odor, being turned into an automaton". This was said according to research obtained to be one of three versions of why he titled his book A Clockwork Orange.

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