Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange
In A Clockwork Orange, author Anthony Burgess deals with the matter of depriving a criminal the ability to make a moral choice. This topic of behavioral conditioning was presented by the psychologist B.F. Skinner in the 1950’s and caused uproar in society, striking a chord with Burgess. In Skinner’s essay “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” he shows his solutions for changing a criminal’s behavior with positive reinforcement. Professor Gerald Smith of the University of Utah took it a step further than Skinner. Smith proposed an implanted device that measured the adrenaline level in convicts. His assumption was that the adrenaline level would rise from the excitement received while committing a crime. If the adrenaline levels became high, an electrical pulse would send signals to a receiver, which the parole officer could read. Inadvertently, the device failed to distinguish the difference between committing a crime, and the adrenaline rush involved with lovemaking. Smith’s r!
easoning was that the convict loses nothing, since he is a prisoner, already without freedom.
Burgess explains, “I began to see red, and felt I had to write the book” (Alleger 172). The absurdity of th
"They dragged me into this very bright-lit whitewashed cantora" (Burgess 68). Something that the reader cannot miss in the novel is Burgess"tm vivid use of symbolism with color contrast. His subtle use of tone and connotations play a role in the overall effect of the story. "Giving the old in-and-out" to a young "ptisas" with his "droogs" does not sound as vicious as raping a young girl with his gang. Ironically, "the place where Alex and his mirror image F. When many people think of "A Clockwork Orange", they conjure images of rape and murder from Stanley Kubrick"tms brutally graphic film, but miss the true question raised. The word NADSAT is the Russian suffix for "teen," as in "sixteen. When Alex is finally caught by the police he is brought through the black night into the white police station. is behavioral conditioning process was one of the main reasons for Burgess to write his novel. Burgess writes in the essay 1985:"The state has succeeded in its primary aim to deny Alex free moral choice, which, to the state, means the choice of evil. Alex decides to "snuff it" and attempts suicide by jumping out of a window. Most of the language is comprised of Russian words and British slang.