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The Literary Merit of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and Exploring Reasons Why it Was Banned

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There are many books that have been banned or challenged, but the one that is being presented in this paper is Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. The topic of this paper is to inform you of many things and when you have finished it will have you leaving asking yourself one question. First, a summary of A Clockwork Orange will be shared with you, so that you can have an insight as to how the rest of the paper relates to the book. Second, you will find out where, why and when the book was banned and/or challenged and you will discover what the book contains that would “offend” people. Finally, you will discover the literary merit of this book, which means you will discover if is a work of quality.

Before I get into all the specifics I’m going to give you a summary of the book I picked
to read. A Clockwork Orange is an interesting book, to say the least, about a young teenager, named Alex, who has lost his way, so to speak, and commits several serious crimes. These crimes that Alex and his “droogs” commit include: murdering, raping, beat downs, robbery, etc.

However, Alex is eventually caught and is sent to jail. After killing a fellow cellmate Alex is
chosen to undergo a new “treatment” that the State has developed to “reform” criminals. After the State strips him of his choice to choose between good and evil, Alex can only do good now and even thinking of doing something bad makes him violently ill. Then, Alex is “rehabilitated” considered “rehabilitated”. Afterwards Alex is released where he encounters an “ex-droog” and one of his enemies, they beat him to a pulp and leave him out in the middle of nowhere. After coming to his senses, Alex makes his way to a house and in that house, right before Alex went to prison, h...


... middle of paper ...


...ts to think it’s all rainbows in sunshine when it’s not. But defiance of authoritative figures, and a dystopian society, how is the offensive? In the book Alex defies everyone; the law, the millicents, his parents, his parole officer, and the societal norms(for our society). People are shocked by the violence Alex commits and “the apparent lack of moral condemnation of it by the author.” (Gordon) They are offended by the dystopian society because of the chaos and the violence and the fear and everything else that comes with a dystopian society. Where no one is good and it’s a dog eat dog world, a “kill or be killed” kind of world. People hate conflict and they don’t like to see the truth. They would rather believe everything is sunshine and rainbows instead of what it truly is chaos, destruction, a persistent battle between good and bad, violence, degradation, etc.


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