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ANTON TERZI

DYSTOPIA

DR. SC. BORIS BERI

30. 5. 2016.

DISCUSS THE FEATURES OF FUTURISM IN THE SOCIETY IN THE NOVEL

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE BY ANTHONY BURGESS

This essay speaks about futurism in the novel A Clockwork Orange written by

Anthony Burgess. A Clockwork Orange is the most famous futuristic novel and also is

popularized by the controversial film adaptation made by Stanley Kubrick in 1971.

What we can say about the novel? It has a lot of elements of futurism. The novel

is concerned with the conflict between the individual and the state. Typical

representatives of a society are Alex and his so called droogs. By raping women and

making the violence they are actually rebelling against the state and its policy. The most

important elements and also characteristics of a futurism in A Clockwork Orange are

violence, sex, language and art. Around these four things Anthony Burgess creates the

whole novel. When we are talking about violence it happens very often in the novel.

Level of violence is very high. Alex and his friends do all kinds and types of criminal

activity: boozing, mugging, robbing, gang fighting, raping, driving, vandalism etc.

Beside all of this we have also juvenile delinquents, prison life, the police brutality and

a forced suicide. Violence is actually the most remarkable thing about the whole book.

From one side it shows all kinds of evil young person can do and from the other side it

shows what kind of punishment young person can get by doing all that stuffs. The
second element is sex or sexuality. In the novel we can say that every single action leads

to sex, but not the sex in a normal way. It is not an expression of love and intimacy but

violence, because it is a forced sex. That is a big difference, crucial in this novel. It is a

typical representation of power and violence. Basic question connected to sex in the

novel is control. Who will control and who will be controlled? Everyone, especially

Alex, is an instrument for something. In the novel The Minister of Interior sees Alex as

a lab rat for his experiment and Mr. Alexander sees Alex as an instrument to bring down

the party. Point is that, it is actually a domination of big ones over small ones. Sex,

instead of being an act of love becomes an act of brutality and domination. Very

important element in the novel is also a language called Nadsat. It is slang, combination

of Russian and Cockney English. Nadsat is a form of brainwashing and it represents

situation when a language controls others. Origin of Nadsat helps also to illuminate the

world in which Anthony Burgess lives. Combination of Russian and Cockney English

means that Burgess lives in a society represented with American capitalist democracy

and Soviet Communism. These two worlds and actually societies are not so apart, as we

might think. They are very similar and connected. In the connection to violence and sex

we have to mention art, especially music and pictures. Music in the novel is something

that moves Alex to violence. Young Alex listens to music because he loves it and

because it is ecstatic for him. But besides that, music also expresses his rebellion against

state in which he lives, and the society which has different opinion than he has. Later in

the novel music changes Alex to be ill, taking his personality and everything he loves.

In the end of the novel he again becomes healthy and enjoys in listening music,

especially classical, Mozart and Beethoven. Music also can be presented as a powerful

weapon, because for example Adolf Hitler and Nazi's used music to heighten patriotic

fevor. When we are talking about pictures they also express Alex's life. When Alex sees
a picture of a young woman devotchka he gets desire of raping and sexual act. In the

picture woman is presented like an object, a doll or mannequin, what is really offensive.

Later, just like music, pictures and also movies make Alex feels ill. He does not have

control over music and pictures anymore. Now, music and art control him, just like the

government.

By using all of these elements Anthony Burgess creates a very good and popular

dystopian novel. It is reccomendable that everyone reads the novel because it is

interesting, educative and shows very strange type of a world.

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