Literary Comparison Of A Clock

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A Literary Comparison Of
A Clockwork Orange and The Crucible

The existence of evil in the world is a universal question that is often contemplated. Anthony Burgess and Arthur Miller in their novels A Clockwork Orange and The Crucible address this question of evil. One of these stories is set in the future, and the other in the past confirming the belief that the human struggle between good and evil is timeless and applies to every person in society. Throughout history numerous examples of leaders have attempted to control the nature of people within their society through systems of punishment and reward. This system had failed continuously to control the entire population because people still retain their ability to choose. It is said that once a person loses his free will, he ceases to be a person. This is the struggle confronting the protagonists in both A Clockwork Orange and The Crucible. The fifteen-year old rebel Alex and the respected farmer John Proctor refuse to conform to the rules of their oppressive societies, and as a result are denied the freedom to choose between good and evil, therefore becoming less than human.
Both Alex and John Proctor live in highly oppressive societies from which they feel alienated, and therefore decide to rebel against. The futuristic setting of A Clockwork Orange is one of a constructive, depersonalized society where the government has far too much control over people’s lives. They are forced to live in strictly regimented communities, and their daily life is dreary. “Alex’s England is a socialized nightmare.'; (De Vitis, 106) It is because of this meaningless life that Alex chooses to rebel against his society, committing so many brutal acts of violence that he soon becomes desensitized to the horror he is creating. When questioned by his correctional officer as to why he acts this way, Alex replies “…badness is of the self, the one, the you or me. They of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow badness because they cannot allow they self… what I do, I do because I like to do it. (Burgess, 34) Alex fully
Bisson 2 realizes that the controlled society he lives is one that tries to eliminate all individuality. This causes him to act out in violence against authority as a means o...

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... since it is the only way he will be allowed to remain true to himself. Proctor realizes that life without free will is a subhuman existence and not worth living. Both Alex and john, unable to choose between right and wrong for themselves, cease to have a normal existence, and both choose death over a life without choice. This is the only way they have of affirming their humanity.
Both Anthony Burgess and Arthur Miller believe that it is more important to remain true to oneself then to always choose good over evil. They show a person must maintain their free will in order to function properly as a human being. They prove this in their works A Clockwork Orange and The Crucible by showing the negative things which befall the protagonists when their right to choose is taken from them. Basically, a free will is essential to every human being, and to take it away is to dehumanize an individual. The two novels function as notable warnings to those that would sacrifice their individuality to please authorities. In addition, they remind the reader that what makes a person is their ability to choose, and so it is necessary that people be allowed that choice.
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