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Morality Play in Clockwork Orange

In: English and Literature

Submitted By toriallred
Words 1107
Pages 5
Victoria Allred
Prof. Olson
ENG 2309.007
September 18, 2013
Morality Play In A Clockwork Orange written by Anthony Burgess, we read about a fifteen year old boy, named Alex, from Britain in the nineteen-seventy’s. He goes through many obstacles and many questions arrive in the readers mind about the treatment of citizens and the control of government. We watch this boy go through some many harsh times and the biggest question is if humans should have their free will to choose good or evil, or if the government should be able to choose that there will be nothing but good in the world. And as the prison Charles and F. Alexander said, “A man who cannot choose ceases to be a man” (pg. 100). I believe that moral depravity is much better than forced morality. The main point that Burgess makes in this book is that a humans right to choose good or evil is essential to society. During the book, Alex goes through a treatment that is supposed to cure his desire to be evil. This treatment was a liquid substance that was injected into his bloodstream that made Alex became sick at the sight or thought of evil. When Alex tells F. Alexander, a writer, about the things he went through, he says, “They have turned you into something other than a human being” (pg. 100). Alex cannot do as he pleases without getting that horrid sick feeling. And sometimes he even feels as if he wants to end his own life. The treatment does keep Alex from doing evil but it also keeps him from defending himself in any way. As the government tries to use the new Alex to help get more votes for the upcoming election, the people are livid about the government taking away the now seventeen year old boys freedom of choice. After being released from jail, Alex try’s to commit suicide, making the government’s votes go down even more. Since so much blood was lost during the attempted suicide, the treatment in his blood stream had also been lost. While in the hospital, the nurses checked to make sure that all of the treatment had been cleared by showing Alex pictures and asking him what the first thought that came to mind was. While all of them were evil and Alex had gone back to his evil ways. In the end he grows up and leaves the evil behind to grow and start a family and do well from now on. Therefore, yes moral depravity is better than forced morality. The government does not think of this treatment being amoral. They believe a human is still a human just without the will to do good not evil. But that’s what you get when you get greedy high in society people trying to earn points for elections. They don’t think about humanity and morality. They think about themselves, the power they receive, and the benefits of getting what they want. When we think of amorality, we think of not stopping to question whether its right or wrong. Which Dr. Brodsky, the creator of the treatment, does; he, like the government, is only thinking of himself and the fame and fortune he will receive. As the prison Charlie says when Dr. Brodsky proves Alex was cured, “Choice, he has no real choice, has he?...He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice” (pg. 82). In the beginning Alex and his friends were perceived as amoral children. But as the stoy progresses they grew up and became moral adults. The minister who represents the government in the end and the government have been thought of as amoral. Why? Well because they do not question whether this treatment being given was right or wrong. They also did not care about taking away the free will of a person by giving them the treatment. I would rather have good and evil around me knowing that the evil people will get what they deserve than a controlled society with nothing but good. I believe evil makes society function, because without evil or wrongdoing there would be no point in law-enforcements or jails. Can you imagine society without these things? Think of how much higher the unemployment population would be. But what is the real message about morality that Burgess is trying to get across? I strongly believe that the real moral message in this book is that some people can grow out of their evil ways. That nobody should lose their ability to think freely and do as they please. Although their actions may cause them to get in trouble with the law that is how lessons are taught, by trial and error. Some people never actually learn their lesson, but that’s why they are constantly in and out of jail or trouble. And some people learn from it and use that to help them grow up and make better choices. Not one single person deserves to have their free will to choose taken away from them no matter how bad the crime was. Although B.F. Skinner argues in his article [Behavior Modification], that it’s called the ‘reinforcement theory’ by the science of behavior specialists and is believed to be a “positive reinforcement” but in this case it is not. It is torcher to a human and makes him seem more like a robot than a real person (pg. 181). While Joost A. M. Meerloo writes, “The seduction of the mind and stealthy mental coercion are among the oldest crimes of mankind,” in his article [“Menticide”] (pg. 185). Which is right, the government wants to corrupt peoples minds and make them do nothing but good to make them, the government, look good as well. The point is, every single living human form of life should be able to make their own choices. That is how life goes and it is how the society we are in today has become the way it is. Without free will and without making wrong choices. We as people of the earth would never be able to move forward, to discover new things. And the point that Anthony Burgess was trying to make is that the freedom to make your own choices and be good or evil or whoever you want to be is fundamental in humankind.

Works Citied
Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: Norton, 2011. Print.
Meerloo, Joost. “Menticide” A Clockwork Orange. New York: Norton, 2011. Print. 185.
Skinner, B.F. “Behavior Modification” A Clockwork Orange. New York: Norton, 2011. Print. 181-183.…...

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