A Clockwork Orange is an anti-utopian novel, describing an imminent future in a stately supervised country. The hero Alex revolts against the state using violence and is therefore locked up. Later he is turned into a harmless subject without free will, incapable of committing any crime.
Burgess paints a future outlook of a land that is still committed to democracy, yet has already adapted radical methods facing youth criminality. There are several indications leading to the supposition that the general form of the government is a socialist one, e.g. the teenage slang called Nadsat which handles chiefly Russian vocabulary, streets named after personalities like Yuri Gagarin and paintings of nude working men in the style of Russian socialist art. So the state is on the say to become totalitarian, after the example of many communist countries.
In addition Alex lives in a society which lacks individualism and opposition. Under the strict governmental rule ordinary citizens are deceived end benumbed by TV and drugs. Moreover books and newspapers are hardly read, theatres and cinemas rarely visited. Everything is done to prevent normal subjects from thinking.
The few people representing an opposition against the government are hooligans like Alex and political reactionaries like Mr. Alexander and his friends. Hooligans are relatively held under control by a strong police force, reactionaries don't have any support from the people. Indeed there is a regular opposition in the country, yet it seems to come into terms with the ruling party.
This leads us back to Burgess' opinion that we should not trust the state. The hero Alex is in fact ...
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...tine Books, 1984, (1965), S. 171-177
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Kagan, Norrnan. A Clockwork Orange, in: Kagan, Norman. The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick. New Expanded Edition. New York:
The Continuum Publishing Company, 1989, ( 1972), S.167-187
Melchior, Claus. Zeittafel zu Leben und Werk von Anthony Burgess, in: Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. 1. Auflage. Stuttgart: Phillip Reclam jun., 1992, S. 247-249
Melchior ,Claus. Nachwort, in: Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. 1. Auflage. Stuttgart: Phillip Reclam jun., 1992, S. 251-260
Rabinovitz, Rubin: Ethical Values in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, in: Studies in the Novel, 11 (1979) S. 43-50
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