Preview
Preview

Free Will vs Determinism in A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess Essays

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1204 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In Anthony Burgess’ 1962 dystopian novella, A Clockwork Orange, teenage gangs and hoodlums run rampid in a futuristic society, inflicting mayhem and brutality among its totalitarian governed state. Alex, our protagonist/anti-hero, is among the most infamous in this violent youth culture. A psychotic, yet devilishly intelligent boy of fifteen, our “humble narrator” beats up on old folk, rapes underaged girls, pillages, and leads his group of “droogs” (friends) on a chaotic path of “ultra-violence.” With this society of citizens completely oblivious to the acts of such culture, the government offers to step in with a solution. After being jailed for the most heinous crime of murder, Alex volunteers for a procedure - offered by the government - to condition his aggressive behavior. What he endures under the government’s treatment, essentially, strips him from any sense of choice or free-will, rendering him a helpless, mechanical slave to this society. This sense of free-will, an opportunity to make a choice between good and evil, is an essential part of humanity...but controlling the freedom of choice is the true key to this idea. So how does this affect and influence Alex’s character to change?
The idea of choice is introduced at the beginning of each of the novella’s three sections, with the quote: “What’s it going to be then, eh” (9). Each quote, used in three different contexts, gives Alex the ability to choose his fate, and what to make of that choice. The first act of the novella follows Alex’s life as this conniving thief, to which he explains his reasonings:
This biting of their toe-nails over what is the cause of badness is what
turns me into a fine laughing malchick. They don't go into the cause of goodness, so
why the o...


... middle of paper ...


... by age, only to gain the idea of free will by growing up. “Life has aspects both of determinism and free will...clockwork and orange” (Rabinovitz).


Works Cited

Blumenfeld, David. "Freedom and Mind Control." American Philosophical Quarterly 25.3
(1988): 215-27. JSTOR. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: Ballantine Books, 1963. Print.
Carey, Jasmine M., and Delroy L. Paulhus. "Worldview Implications Of Believing In Free Will
And/Or Determinism: Politics, Morality, And Punitiveness." Journal Of Personality
81.2 (2013): 130-141. Academic Search Complete. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
Rabinovitz, Rubin. "Mechanism vs. Organism: Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange."
Modern Fiction Studies 24.4 (Winter 1978): 538-541. Rpt. in Novels for Students. Ed.
David M. Galens. Vol. 15. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web.
18 Apr. 2014.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »
title







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Misuse of Power and the Extent of Free Will Within A Clockwork Orange and Nineteen Eighty-Four - In both Nineteen Eighty-four and A Clockwork Orange, free will and the misuse of power are two intrinsically linked themes which are woven throughout and that govern everything that happens within both novels. The different reactions of different characters are an area that both George Orwell and Anthony Burgess focus on with interesting parallels between the two main protagonists, Alex and Winston. Winston and Alex, although very different, react in quite a similar fashion to events surrounding their circumstances....   [tags: Literary Analysis ] 1975 words
(5.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
freeclo Comapring Free Will in A Clockwork Orange and Freedom and the Control of Man - Free Will in A Clockwork Orange and Skinner's Freedom and the Control of Man      Socrates once said, "Know thyself," and over two thousand years later we're still perplexed with the complexities of human behavior. The concept of free will has been debated and challenged by science, religion, and philosophy throughout history. By free will, I mean our ability to choose and behave as we wish, without our choices being determined by outside sources. Such a notion has been discussed and disputed by philosophers like B.F....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
2471 words
(7.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Government Control and Free Will in "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange, a novel written by Anthony Burgess in the 1960’s takes place in dystopian future in London, England. The novel is about a fifteen year old nadsat (teenager) named Alex who along with his droogs (friends) commit violent acts of crime and opts to be bad over good. In time, Alex finds himself to be in an experiment by the government, making him unable to choose between good and evil, thus losing his ability of free will, and being a mere clockwork orange. A “clockwork orange” is a metaphor for Alex being controlled by the government, which makes him artificial because he is unable to make the decision of good verses evil for himself and is a subject to what others believe is...   [tags: Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess, free will, gove] 658 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Free Will in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Essay -      Is it better to be a man choosing wrong than a man who is forced to choose right. In the classic novel, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, a theme emerges. This is the theme of free will. Through the main character, Alex, Burgess is able to convey his ideas about free will and the oppressive nature of establishments such as governments and the media. Aside from these suggestions made by Burgess the question persists: When a man ceases to choose, is he still a man.      Free will is one of the features that separates us as humans from animals and allows us to attain intelligent thought and reasoning....   [tags: Free Will Burgess Clockwork Orange Essays] 577 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Free Essays - A Clockwork Orange - Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess This novel is short–only being about 180 pages–but looks may deceive you, or in other words don’t judge a book buy its cover or its thickness. A Clockwork Orange is actually 360 pages because you have to read between the lines. You may think that the story’s theme is that the future will be filled with horrible decadent violence (that is what I first thought), but if you read between the lines you will understand that this book is written for one main purpose, a purpose other than entertainment....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays] 1254 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Essays - A Clockwork Orange is Not Obscene - A Clockwork Orange is Not Obscene Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange describes a horrific world in an apathetic society has allowed its youth to run wild. The novel describes the senseless violence perpetrated by teens, who rape women and terrorize the elderly. The second part of the novel describes how the protagonist, Alex, is "cured" by being drugged and then forced to watch movies of atrocities. The novel warns against both senseless violence and senseless goodness - of the danger of not being allowed to choose between good and evil....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays] 541 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Free Will in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange - Free Will versus Predestination in A Clockwork Orange Burgess raises the oppositions of free will and predestination in various of his novel, A Clockwork Orange. The author describes his own faith as alternating between residues of Pelagianism and Augustinianism. Pelagianism denies that God has predestined, or pre-ordained, or planned, our lives. A consequence of this is that salvation is effectively within human power (as God hasn't set it down for each of us, it's within our control), which eventually leads to a denial of original sin....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange Essays] 785 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Triumph of Free Will in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Essay - Triumph of Free Will in A Clockwork Orange      Amidst a population composed of perfectly conditioned automatons, is a picture of a society that is slowly rotting from within. Alex, the Faustian protagonist of A Clockwork Orange, and a sadistic and depraved gang leader, preys on the weak and the innocent. Although perhaps misguided, his conscientiousness of his evil nature indicates his capacity to understand morality and deny its practice. When society attempts to force goodness upon Alex, he becomes the victim....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2649 words
(7.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
A Clockwork Orange Essay - A Clockwork Orange We are first introduced to Alex (Malcolm McDowell) in the company of his posse, strangely sipping drugged milk in a freakish bar with anatomically indiscrete manikins serving as tittie-taps and tables. The ensuing scenes flash from Alex and his three droogs brutally beating an old man to a violent rape scene to a semi-chaotic gang-brawl. The story is of Alex and his love of the old ultra-violence, his act of murder, his betrayal and imprisonment, and his cure (twice). Adapted from Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel, A Clockwork Orange is in part a response to psychological behaviorism and the age of classical conditioning....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange Essays] 565 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
A Clockwork Orange Essay - Sitting in the Korova milk bar, the four droogs prepare for their evening on the town. The dimly lit bar, which served milk spiked with the drug of your choice, was host to the strange and bizarre of London's criminal subculture. The four outlandish gang members shared a booth, scanning the milkbar, vultures looking for the latest in decayed cuisine. They wore what they deemed "the height of fashion", black tights, lapel-less waistcoats, and derbies with the mandatory cane accompaniment....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange Essays] 785 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]