The Importance of Free Will in 1Q84, by Haruki Murakam and A Clockwork Orange, by Stanley Kubrick

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In Haruki Murakami’s novel, 1Q84, the idea of man creating the ideal world is explored. What starts off as a temporary refuge, develops into a community with the ultimate goal of becoming a utopia. However as this utopia develops, the population becomes increasingly blind and naïve. In the process, they lose their morality in favor of subordination, following the wills of those standing above them. Likewise, in A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess introduces a world that strives to wipe out radical thought. By means of brainwashing experiments, these radicals are forced to conform to societal definitions of ‘good’. These individuals lose their humanity as a byproduct of these tests, which brings our attention to the question of human ethics and what is really right or wrong. The two books show that in the attempt to achieve a utopian society, it is impossible for mankind to stay in touch with their humanity. In trying to create a utopian society, man is stripped of what makes him human, reducing him to a mere puppet. 1Q84 illustrates an unlikely love story between Aomame, a physical trainer and deep-massage specialist who receives assassination jobs, and Tengo, an aspiring novelist and cram school math teacher. Through traveling to a parallel world, the two find themselves entangled into Sakigake, a complicated cult religion that involves non-human beings. Worshippers, as well as their head, Tamotsu Fukuda, known as ‘the Leader’, are devoid of conventional human behaviors, succumbing to the will of the Little People, mysterious beings that only the chosen can perceive. Aomame, when she confronts the cult, “could not help but feel…[like a] bag of meat” when “stared at by [the Leader]”, “he was just viewing her as an object” (Murak... ... middle of paper ... ... good nor evil, just a shell (Burgess 115). In a perfect utopia, everyone would share a common goal and work hand in hand to achieve that goal. In theory this environment would be the ideal place for humanity. However, in practice, it is in this environment that humans lose their individuality, being treated and viewing others as just bodies, no longer having the choice or freedom to make decisions for self-gain. Without evil, what can be considered good? And without good what would be the purpose of society. Everyone would become machines, stripped of human behavior and emotions. Although there will be no more violence in this perfect society, but will there be any happiness? Works Cited Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. London: Penguin, 1996. Print. Murakami, Haruki, Jay Rubin, and Philip Gabriel. 1Q84. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. Print.

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