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A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess Essay

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Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange has been placed under much scrutiny by literary critics and readers everywhere. Furthermore, this highly criticized novel contains a myriad of ways to engage with the work, whether it is from the psychological or ethical perspective. Through College Literature Journal’s article “O My Brothers”, the unnamed author draws interesting connections between the main character’s development and how pseudo-families and pseudo- self plays a part on this said development. The author of this article generates an association between Alex’s pseudo-families who have not accomplished what families are expected to accomplish in one’s life, and the way that Alex behaves because of it. Interestingly enough, the author states that because of Alex’s families lacking in the required support and life changing opportunities that families must have, his behavior in the novel is wholly justified and typical. Ultimately, the author is attempting to state that because of his negative interactions with the pseudo-family in the work, he is “…unable to effect the process of morphogenesis that might provide him with the means for finally glimpsing a mature…self” (O My Brothers 23). So, because of Alex’s destructive relations with this pseudo-family, he cannot help but act the way he does, due to the pseudo-family preventing him from developing and growing as an individual. However, as stimulating as these associations are for readers to delve into and endeavor to understand, the article has major flaws in its development. These flaws not only make it difficult for readers to understand the fundamentals of the argument and its structure, but they also leave the argument severely lacking in the support that it requires to mak...


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...rk like of heaven…” (Burgess 46). So, even while his pseudo-self is enacting this horror, his true self is making the act less harsh through the appreciation of music. Here, the music is a barrier between the horrors he is committing between his pseudo-self and his true self. So, the ultimate question here is if Alex’s behaviors are a result of his dysfunctional family or are simply the struggles of a battle between individuality and peer pressure, and how this struggle can completely envelop an individual?








Works Cited

Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1986. Print.
""O My Brothers": Reading the Anti-Ethics of the Pseudo- Family in Anthony Burgess's "A Clockwork Orange"" College Literature 29.2 (2002): 19-36. JSTOR. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. .



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