Psychoanalytical Criticism of A Clockwork Orange

1731 Words7 Pages
Anthony Burgess via Alex DeLarge Psychoanalysis is based on the idea that literature is an extension of the conscious and subconscious mind. In a novel, the emotions of an author are manifested as a story of a protagonist and his world. The protagonist is created as the author’s persona, and the setting of the story parallels events from the author’s past. In Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, the protagonist Alex DeLarge is a direct projection of Burgess’s psyche. Analysis of Burgess’s childhood confirms the psychoanalytic theory that Alex and his fictional experiences within A Clockwork Orange are the result of thoughts, fears, and desires that were suppressed by Burgess’s conscious mind throughout his life. Just as Burgess did, Alex struggles with developing and maintaining healthy relations, the choice between what is “right” and what is “wrong”, and the challenge of growing up. The most influential part of a human’s life is their relationship with their parents. All independent adult actions are based on the initial interactions between parent and child. Burgess’s mother died shortly after his birth. Blamed for taking his mother’s life by his father, Burgess was sent to live with his aunt. The relationship between child and parent was absent throughout Burgess’s entire childhood, and it is because of this that Alex DeLarge has his own “mommy and daddy issues”. The first similarity between Alex and Burgess is discussed quite briefly when Alex comes home after a fun night with his droogs, or friends. After coming home late and going into his room to play loud music, Alex is full of pride and joyfully explains that “[p]ee and em (pa and ma, dad and mom) in their bedroom next door had learnt now not to knock o... ... middle of paper ... ...in Stanley Kubrick’s Films. July 4, 2010. Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. W.W. Norton & Company Inc. New York: 1962. Burgess, Anthony. “Introduction.” A Clockwork Orange. W.W. Norton & Company Inc. New York: 1962. Clune, Anne. "Anthony Burgess." DISCovering Authors. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. Daniels, Don. “A Clockwork Orange.” Sight and Sound, 1973. “Introduction.” Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. W.W. Norton & Company Inc. New York: 1986. "John (Anthony) Burgess Wilson." DISCovering Authors. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. "Overview of John (Anthony) Burgess Wilson." DISCovering Authors. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 11 Mar. 2012. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on A Clockwork Orange.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 19 Apr. 2012.

    More about Psychoanalytical Criticism of A Clockwork Orange

      Open Document