The Misuse of Power and the Extent of Free Will Within A Clockwork Orange and Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Misuse of Power and the Extent of Free Will Within A Clockwork Orange and Nineteen Eighty-Four

Length: 1975 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. Their control over their own free will and use of power is evident from their actions. Within nineteen eighty-four, the limit of free will associated with each character is clearly evident. A character is bound only by the decisions of the state and has little or no influence upon his or her actions. Although characters are able to exercise what remains of their free will, it can be argued that this in itself is not completely free will, as they are working around the control of the state, this also makes it extremely visible that the state uses the power at their disposal almost as a means of instilling fear and making sure that the “outer party” do what they are told. “Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing.” Winston’s decision to exercise what little free will he has shows the supreme control that the government has, but at the same time also shows that the ‘minority classes’ still have slight control over certain actions. This can be paralleled with Alex in CWO. In CWO, Alex has a far greater range to the amount of free will he can exercise. The streets are full of anarchy and there is no definitive state control to keep them in line; qui...

... middle of paper ...

... with one another and could be seen as a metaphor for describing the moulding of societies within each novel. When Burgess wrote CWO, he was in Brunei. The language spoken in Brunei is Malay, and the Malay word for ‘person’ is ‘orang’. It could thus be argued that Burgess’ main intention was to comment on society as a whole and refer solely to the people within it, in order to highlight the lack of free will, and the corruptness of governments throughout the world at the time of writing the novel.
It is clear from the outset that the misuse of power and the lack of free will are both integral themes interlinked within the novels. Both novels expand on these themes with forms of made up languages which serve to acerbically mock modern day society (as it once was) in an almost imperceptible manner; thus commenting and therefore shunning the status quo of the time.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess Essay

- The idea of one being free or not free is greatly debated for the main character, Alex, in A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess. Almost anyone, when asked, will say that they believe they are free because they are able to make their own decision and can do what they choose, also known as free will. But to what extent are you truly free. It all comes down to what you consider it means to be free. According to critic Samuel McCracken, there is a definite difference between free will and free choice....   [tags: Choice, Free will, A Clockwork Orange, Mind]

Powerful Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on A Clockwork Orange Directed By Stanley Kubrick

- Are we human if we don’t have a choice to choose between acting good or acting evil. A Clockwork Orange directed by Stanley Kubrick is a brutal film that entails many sociological meanings. Alex DeLarge and his “droogs” (gang) live in a derange society of “ultra-violence” and rape. Alex and his gang cause havoc around the town that leads to the “droogs” turning on Alex during a mischievous act on an innocent women and Alex getting arrested. While in prison he is chosen for “treatment” that is suppose to purify Alex and turn him into the “perfect citizen”....   [tags: Sociology, Morality, A Clockwork Orange]

Powerful Essays
1426 words (4.1 pages)

A Clockwork Orange And The Catcher 's The Rye Essay

- Explore the ways in which Adolscene is presented in A Clockwork Orange and The Catcher In the Rye Both Anthony Burgess ' Dystopian novella A Clockwork Orange (1962) and J.D Sallinger 's Bildungsroman A Catcher In the Rye (1951) can be seen as coming age tales. However, despite the similar style of naif narration utilized by eachother the protagonists within these texts face very different problems over the course of the narrative as a conclusion to their aims motivations and morality. Furthermore, is society a factor to their behaviour in adolscene?, which links closely with religion, education and patriarchy that is presented throughout....   [tags: Nadsat, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess]

Powerful Essays
1661 words (4.7 pages)

Analysis of A Clockwork Orange Essay example

- Analysis and Interpretation of A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, is one of the most experimental, original, and controversial novels of the twentieth century. It is both a compelling work of literature and an in-depth study in linguistics. The novel is a satirical, frightening science fiction piece, not unlike others of this century such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. However, the conflicts and resolutions in A Clockwork Orange are more philosophical than social, and its message is far more urgent....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange]

Powerful Essays
2417 words (6.9 pages)

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]

Free Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about The Paradox of A Clockwork Orange

-        The grace of evil in A Clockwork Orange is a recurring paradox throughout the novel and also implies a deep religious connotation. The main foci are the several aspects of evil, violence, and sexual acts committed by Alex and his gang members. However, Anthony Burgess has cleverly incorporated similar paradoxes to that of grace and evil, along with a different dialect to aid in masking the true harshness that lies underneath the violence. The other paradoxes include the extremes of night and day, good and bad, and black and white....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange Essay]

Powerful Essays
2013 words (5.8 pages)

Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Essay

- Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Choice and free will are necessary to maintain humanity, both individually and communally; without them, man is no longer human but a “clockwork orange”, a mechanical toy, as demonstrated in Anthony Burgess’ novel, “A Clockwork Orange”. The choice between good and evil is a decision every man must make throughout his life in order to guide his actions and control his future. Forcing someone to be good is not as important as the act of someone choosing to be good....   [tags: Anthony Burgess Clockwork Orange Essays]

Powerful Essays
1483 words (4.2 pages)

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]

Free Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

A Clockwork Orange Essay: Existentialist Analysis

- Existentialist Analysis of Burgess' A Clockwork Orange      Freedom and liberalism are catchwords that appear frequently in both philosophical and political rhetoric. A free man is able to choose his actions and his value system, to express his views and to develop his most authentic character. What this kind of idealistic liberalism seems to forget, however, is that liberty does not mean a better society, better life or humanistic values such as equality and justice. In his novel A Clockwork Orange (1962), Anthony Burgess portrays an ultimately free individual and shows how a society cannot cope with the freedom which it in rhetoric so eagerly seeks to promote....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays]

Powerful Essays
1531 words (4.4 pages)

Clockwork Tales Essay

- Clockwork Tales Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-TONG. .............. "Yeah, I finally got that damn clock to stop," the man mumbled happily. "Now I can sit here and read in peace." He picked up his copy of Canterbury Tales, aching to find the insight that his professor swore was kept hidden within. He started once again. The Miller's Tale. "Hmm, I wonder how long it is." He started to flip through the pages one by one, counting them off. "One, two, three, four, five, ....   [tags: Clockwork Tales Short Story Essays]

Free Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)