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CarpeLibrum

Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

 

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Historical Novel Society

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

This is a book that is easy to read and discount for its violent content, but if one is willing to look deeper there are important themes that we can learn from, as exist in all great dystopian novels.

"Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness?"

That is the central question asked in A Clockwork Orange. Alex is a violent, yet intellectual teenager. He doesn't easily fit into any stereotypes of criminals who are too ignorant to know better. The truth may be even worse, he simply enjoys it.

While Alex's actions are abhorrent, there are also hints about his youth and the poor state of the communist society that cause him to be the way he is. When he is incarcerated, we learn that the 'good guys' who make it their goal to rehabilitate him are no better.

This is a book that could be read quickly, but you will miss out on the way it can provoke you to think differently about deeply held beliefs and the role of government in society. The use of Burgess' own cockney/Russian language for Alex give it an otherworldly atmosphere that assures the reader that this isn't the world we live in . . . . but could it be?