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Moral Choice in a Clockwork Orange

  • Date Submitted: 04/25/2010 02:37 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56 
  • Words: 1443
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Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange presents us with the unmistakable intrinsic value of the freedom of moral choice. Choice enables us as humans to decide for ourselves whether to dedicate our lives either to servitude and goodness or violence and evil. Burgess seeks to tell his readers that while all humans have this crucial choice, our inclination is naturally toward the latter. When we choose this latter option, we find only transitory satisfaction and eventually frustration. Through Burgess’s use of language and structure, he conveys to the reader the importance of desiring to do what is right.
In A_ Clockwork Orange_, Burgess portrays the main character, Alex’s, thoughts, words, and surrounding narrative in a special dialect called Nadsat. Nadsat is a type of invented Russian slang used in this book by both the teenage and criminally inclined, both of which are accurate descriptions of our dear “droog” Alex. It is also symbolic of immaturity. At first, this language is alien and hard to understand, which helps distance the reader from the brutal violence depicted by Alex and his gang. However, as the novel progresses and this language becomes familiar and endearing, the author uses this dialect to draw us into Alex’s character and to help us relate to him. Our developing understanding of his speech allows us to feel as if we are a part of his character, and consequentially a part of his violent deeds and ensuing misfortunes.The language almost serves as a type of brainwashing, connecting us to the character deeply but not consciously. This is what causes the reader to feel sympathetic to Alex’s plight.
Through this connection the author draws the unwitting reader into a world where things are not quite right, and senseless violence is a prerogative of youth. We see the narrator and his gang take advantage of harmless unsuspecting people, and commit horrible acts of violence and inhuman atrocities. All we can do is watch as we see mankind’s...

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