Power of Choice in Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange Essay

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      The choice between good and evil is a decision every man must make

throughout his life in order to guide his actions and control his future.

This element of choice, no matter what the outcome, displays man's power as

an individual.  Any efforts to control or influence this choice between

good and evil will in turn govern man's free will and enslave him.  In the

novel A Clockwork Orange,  the author uses symbolism through imagery, the

characterization of Alex, and the first person narrative point of view to

prove that without the ability to choose between good and evil, Man becomes

a slave.


       The symbolism through imagery proves how Alex's ability to choose

between good and evil is his ascendancy over the innocent and the weak.

The first symbol is the music to which he listens and loves.  It is the

only thing in Alex's life that he truly cares for.  This music represents

the element of his choice and free will.   When his ability of choice is

robbed in an attempt to better him, he loses his love for music in which he

exclaims,  "And all the time the music got more and more gromky, like it

was all a deliberate torture, O my brothers . . .  then I jumped"(131).

The music that represents his freedom to choose is now gone.  He is left

without any reason to live.  When he realizes that he is no longer a man

because of his absence of choice, Alex decides to end his life.  The author

illustrates through Alex's violent actions, how they represent his abuse of

power through his freedom of choice.  Alex...

... middle of paper ... power.  The demonstration of his free will and his loss of power

through the absence of choice is effectively accomplished through the use

of first person narration.


        Throughout this story, choice has proven many aspects of power and

it's abuse.  Through strong symbols in imagery, Alex's characterization,

and his point of view, the absence of choice is proven as the most

debilitating and most overlooked depravation of man's individual power.  In

everyone's life, the struggle for power exists in all situations.  The

decision between good and evil is the power that anyone must have as an

individual.  The choice of which path to take is dependant on the person

and the situation, but the realization that both exist is a power unto


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