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A Clockwork Orange, by Stanley Kubrick Essay

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"A Clockwork Orange", directed by the immeasurable Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adirenne Corri, Aubrey Morris and James Marcus and produced by Stanley Kubrick in 1971, is, in my opinion, one of the greatest morality plays ever captured on film. It leads viewer in to many different pathways of thought about the time we live in, and about the validity of the concepts of law and morality, and the applications of the two in general society.

Vincent Canby was on to something when he called "A Clockwork Orange" perversely moral and essentially Christian. The value shown by the general public are far from either, but the whole idea I got from the many times I saw the film is the dangers of leading a life free of free will, and following the will imposed by those in higher authority. Alex is by no means a moral character, but he is an archetype for the negative elements in society that are currently out of control in our time. He is not an endearing character, and he really doesn't need to be. If the viewer was supposed to be in favor of the things he as doing and the way those things were done, Alex would have found God in prison and would have been turned into a motivational speaker. That kind of Hollywood ending would be pretty much useless in trying to prove the point that I think Kubrick was attempting to make.

The main focus of this film is the idiotic forms of punishment that the governments of the world have dreamed up to nullify crime. Reality has actually shown what happens when former gang members become police officers. Los Angeles has a problem of internal corruption and continued membership in the gang that the individuals in question were supposed to have left. It'...


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...ciety around Alex has worked to form him into the monster he is, but they are not prepared for the consequences. They can find no reasonable solution for the conundrum presented by his actions, so brainwashing is the only way out in the eyes of the government.

It is my personal belief that extreme punishments for the actions of violent criminals have not been a decent deterrent for their continued actions. If society can find a way to learn from the lessons of our history and the visions presented by Kubrick, there may actually be an intelligent solution to the problem of crime. The assertions of Vincent Canby were dead on in their description of this film, and I agree wholeheartedly with him. The next step in this process is identifying the overall messages and learning from them, only then will there be any resolution to the problems of law and punishment.



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