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Anthony Burgess’s, “A Clockwork Orange”, had to do with essentially what every human being experiences. This experience is the inevitable moment in peoples’ lives where they have a moment of enlightenment and realize that growing up and leaving everything you once knew behind is more important than living down the same path. Alex, the main character, is a young kid who spends most of his time terrorizing the city, and hanging out with his buddies from the local bar. His whole life is evolved around creating destruction, and hurting others in order to take what he so chooses. His life is turned upside down when he is sent to jail, being set up by a former friend. Alex’s experiences in jail lead him to conclude that he would do anything to be on the outside of the jail walls again. An opportunity arises that presents him with a choice. He can have his freedom back if he decides to partake in an experimental program through the government, which forces reform through the individual at any cost, so he can be the prototype of a perfect citizen. Alex agrees to the deal, but soon realizes that it is not what he expected. After the painful and gruesome reform, he is sent back into society as a free man. Although something has changed within Alex, he can no longer think of whatever conscious thought he so chooses. They have trained him to be a machine, and control his thought ability. After experiencing how life is without the ability to think for himself, he realizes that no man should suffer how he has, and sets on a journey to punish those who have punished him. Overall, this book is great for students because it offers many experiences within the text that students can relate too. At the end of the book, the moral message comes into play, and the all the violence is met with an ethical, philosophical lesson that can be applied to everyone. A terrific book and I would recommend it for everyone!


-Christopher Marzoq





A Clockwork Orange is a powerful novel that presents important social issues in a masterful way. Anthony Burgess’ control of linguistics is incredible, as is evident in this book. Not only did the author create and compile a new slang for the book, but he narrated with the language in a way that is comprehendible to readers. Narrated from the point of view of a violent, teenage criminal, the story is captivating the whole way through. Gruesome acts are described in graphic detail provide for an enthralling read, and the protagonist’s motivations are even more interesting. The concept of brainwashing prisoners to make them only capable of good is a unique and troubling one to ponder. We as readers see the (fictional) results of such a treatment. Man’s will is something sacred in life, without free will, a person becomes immobile- little more than a machine. This is a central theme within the novel. Society wants proficiency and profits, and it is ideal from their standpoint to have citizens operate like gears in a machine. Though this is ideal for production, it is absolutely negative for all people who care about their freedom. Both sides of this argument are presented within the text, with many other twists and turns throughout. The plot of A Clockwork Orange is captivating, but so is the fashion in which it is written. Burgess created a poetic, almost orchestral novel with his control of language. He was not proud of what the novel came to be known for in his lifetime, though I am thankful to have read this book and absorb its messages. I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in questions of free-will and an interesting story.


-Joshua Wiss



A Clockwork Orange is a depiction of a lawless fifteen year old named Alex who loves to rape, kill, and beat anybody that he comes across. The author of the book, Anthony Burgess, has a wild imagination as a hooligan and his cronies cruise the town at night looking for trouble. In the book, Burgess made up his own vocabulary to portray the violence in an almost dream-like way. Although the violence in the book is something one would cringe about, Burgess's made up, whimsical language lessoned the impact of the mental images of the cruelty and brutality that were being committed. In my opinion, had this book been written using the actual words of the crimes commited, I probably would have put it down. I can imagine when Burgess wrote this book that these random acts of murder and rape almost never took place, where in today’s society they happen all the time. Alex finally gets caught beating an elderly lady, who he later finds out died from head trauma due to him kicking her in the head. As a result, Alex lands himself in jail. After two years in jail Alex finds himself in the middle of brain washing scheme thought to stop violent offenders from committing future heinous acts of violence. The outcome from the brain washing leads to Alex attempting to kill himself. Alex's failed suicide attempt somehow undos whatever brainwashing had done to him. The book was printed with two endings in the first, Alex wakes up at the hospital finding himself the center of attention surounded by the media because his suicide attempt was the result of his brain washing. In the second ending, he realizes that there is more to life then violence after he runs into a reformed hooligan friend that represented what Alex was missing in his life. To me the book should have ended with the last chapter left out of it.


-Randy Origer

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