Importance of Spiritual Freedom in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange


Length: 859 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



The Importance of Spiritual Freedom Revealed in A Clockwork Orange

 

Anthony Burgess is one of the greatest British writers of the twentieth century. His masterpiece, A Clockwork Orange, is unrivalled in depth, insight, and innovation. The novel is a work of high quality - almost perfection.

 

The novel's main theme deals with free choice and spiritual freedom. More specifically, "[The ethical promise that 'A man who cannot choose ceases to be man'] can be taken as both the explicit and implicit themes of the novel" (Morgan 104). Anthony Burgess expresses his view that no matter how "good" one's actions are, unless one has free moral choice, he is spiritually damned.

 

 The novel revolves around one criminally minded teen, Alex, whose world consists of rape, murder, and ruthless violence. Alex is eventually setup by his "droogs" (friends) and is arrested and jailed. After some time in jail, Alex is placed in a new rehabilitating program that uses electro-shock therapy, new medicines, and exposure to violent film. The program breaks all that Alex holds dear and builds him up with a new artificial conscience.

 

This part of the novel "presents the reader with a new, reformed Alex, an Alex without free will or freedom of choice, an Alex who has become a victim" (Magill's Critical Survey of World Lit. 293). Burgess considers this lack of freedom to be spiritually murderous and terribly wrong. Burgess knows that it is better to choose to be evil, than to be forced to be good. Alex is tormented by his new state of oppression. He is incapable of making any choice; he must always do what is good. Alex is then taken under the wing of a writer who is fighting the oppressive government. The writer greatly publicizes the oppressive rehabilitation the state put Alex through. But Alex is still tormented by his lack of choice, so tormented, that he even attempts suicide.

 

 While Alex is in the hospital following his suicide attempt, the tragedy of his oppression is highly publicized, in an attempt to stop public criticism, the state "fixed Alex." He once again has freedom of choice. Through these series of events, Burgess shows another conviction of his.

 

 "The 'spiritual death' can also be seen in the wider context of a political or philosophical sterility which afflicts whole countries given over to the totalitarian view of life" (Dix 27).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Importance of Spiritual Freedom in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Jul 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=3598>.
Title Length Color Rating  
freeclo Moral freedom for All in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Essay - Anthony Burgess: The importance of moral freedom for all in A Clockwork Orange Moral freedom is one of the most if not the most important of any freedoms available for humans. Moral freedom is the ability to either choose to perform good and bad deeds or both. Totalitarian governments take away one’s individual choice and thus, suppresses and suffocates thee soul. The setting in A Clockwork Orange, is a general parallax to a totalitarian and oppressive government. Alex the main character is the representative of the common man, and his struggle in this type of government....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays] 1488 words
(4.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Importance of Free Will in A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess Essay - Russian born American writer, Ayn Rand, once said, “Man is a being with free will; therefore each man is potentially good or evil, and it’s up to him and only him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be.” The meaning behind Rand’s words is that an individual has the power to choose between good or evil and it is that exact power which allows a human to live truly as a human. However, it is when that specific power, those choices, and the freedom to act on those choices are taken away when an individual is not genuinely considered a being....   [tags: Freedom of Choice] 2654 words
(7.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on freeclo Freedom in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange - Freedom in A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess tells a story about a young man and his choices of freedom. The book asks the question "is it better to have someone constantly do the right thing, or to have the freedom of choice to do the right or wrong thing". The author shows the affect of society on a human who has been institutionalized and let back into society. The author of the book goes on to show how the protagonist copes with society under his given conditions....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays] 753 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Telecom Orange Essay - Summary Telecom-Orange was actively involved in CSR and sustainable development by adopting and by adhering to various policies like following AA1000 APS (2008) standard and principles defined in ISO 26000. Their proof of performance is ranking of 56/100 by Vigeo rating. In order to implement laws and regulations across the board its managers have travelled to the respective branches around the world to impart education on the issue. Its suppliers were required to follow the strict guidelines pertaining to the child labor and its policy....   [tags: Telecom Orange Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1136 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Clockwork Orange Essay: Blindness in A Clockwork Orange - Blindness in A Clockwork Orange In the novel, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess has tried to show the importance of individual freedom over doing the right thing. He has taken an extreme example of violence and perverse acts to accent his strong belief. It is my opinion that Burgess has been blinded to some essential truths in his quest to ensure personal freedom. Personal freedom can be described as acting upon your own accord and not becoming restricted by the social paradigm in which you live....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays] 971 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Freedom of Choice in A Clockwork Orange Essays - Freedom of Choice In the novel A Clockwork Orange, the author Anthony Burgess tells a story about a young man name Alex and his friends, every night they go around and start committing violent acts. In the novel Alex expresses his freedom of choice between good and evil. The freedom of choice is a decision that every person must make throughout his life in order to guide his actions and to take control of his own future. This Freedom of Choice, no matter what the outcome is, displays person power as an individual, and any efforts to control or influence this choice between good and evil will take way the person free will and enslave him....   [tags: essays research papers] 1228 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Analysis of A Clockwork Orange Essay example - Analysis and Interpretation of A Clockwork Orange A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, is one of the most experimental, original, and controversial novels of the twentieth century. It is both a compelling work of literature and an in-depth study in linguistics. The novel is a satirical, frightening science fiction piece, not unlike others of this century such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. However, the conflicts and resolutions in A Clockwork Orange are more philosophical than social, and its message is far more urgent....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange]
:: 6 Works Cited
2417 words
(6.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
freeclo Violence and Free Will in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Essay - Violence as an Expression of Free Will in A Clockwork Orange         This essay will deal with the subject of free choice, which is the main topic of the novel, A Clockwork Orange . This significant problem is already indicated in the very first line of the text when an unknown voice asks Alex - and certainly by that the reader - "What' s it going to be then, eh'?" (13). Being repeated at the beginning of the second part and at the beginning of the very last chapter of the third part this question sets up the thematic frame of the book....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays]
:: 12 Works Cited
2192 words
(6.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
A Clockwork Orange Essay - Clockwork Orange There have been many books published solely on philosophy, and many more than that solely written about human nature, but very infrequently will a book be published that weaves these fields together as well as A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess. In this Book Burgess speculated on the fact “the significance of maturing by choice is to gain moral values and freedoms.” He achieved this task by pushing his angsty teenaged character, Alex, through situations that challenge the moral values of himself and his friends....   [tags: A Clockwork Orange Essays] 1694 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Free Essays - A Clockwork Orange - Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess This novel is short–only being about 180 pages–but looks may deceive you, or in other words don’t judge a book buy its cover or its thickness. A Clockwork Orange is actually 360 pages because you have to read between the lines. You may think that the story’s theme is that the future will be filled with horrible decadent violence (that is what I first thought), but if you read between the lines you will understand that this book is written for one main purpose, a purpose other than entertainment....   [tags: Clockwork Orange Essays] 1254 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




Burgess believes that totalitarian governments take away one's individual choice and therefore suffocate his soul.

 

The state in A Clockwork Orange is a general parallel to any overly oppressive or totalitarian government. Alex is a representative of the common man. "Burgess' attack on behaviorists and on totalitarian states is obvious" (Magill's Survey of World Lit. 293). By showing what torment Alex went through when rehabilitated by the state, Burgess shows his strong sentiment against governments taking away the choice of individuals, and therefore condemning the individual's spirit. Burgess's strong convictions on the subject of individual moral freedom seems odd and even backwards to some. But it is incredibly right when one grasps its full meaning. "Burgess replies...No matter how awful Alex's actions become, he should be allowed to choose them" (Magill's Survey of Long Fiction 370).

 

To be forced to do good is truly wrong. If one is forced to do right, and he does what is right, it is not out of any ethical or moral conviction. When one does what he is forced to, he is merely a programmed pawn of the state. He becomes sub-human, he is merely a robotic existence. But when one has choice, he is an individual. When one who is free, chooses good, it is out of a moral conscience and good intent. He chooses to do good. The good done through free choice is infinitely better than the forced good of one who is oppressed into morality. Burgess, through his use of satire, rebukes the suppression of freedom (Morgan 104).

 

Anthony Burgess is extremely clear in his message in A Clockwork Orange. His convictions on free choice and oppression are clearly stated and hidden in the dark satire of the violent tale. "Obviously Burgess's feeling is that there is potentially more good in a man who deliberately chooses evil, than in one who is forced to be good" (Dix 27).

 

This masterpiece grows stronger and deeper in meaning every time one reads it. Burgess repeatedly reveals his powerful beliefs that it is even the most violent crimes are trivial when compared to the heinous crime of oppression. Burgess not only considers moral oppression to be a wrong against one's civil rights, but he also considers it to be a destructive wrong against one's spiritual existence. This book delivers this message so powerfully, so overwhelmingly, that it leaves the reader in a state of awe and profound musing for some time after the book is read. This book demands, and commands, one's full attention and thought. Burgess seems to be inspired on a somewhat holy mission. His war is against moral oppression and the governments causing it. His weapon, a powerful one, is his incredible satiric writing ability.


Return to 123HelpMe.com