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Themes - Freedom of choice- the government takes away freedom of choice to protect the society (order). Alex chooses to commit crimes because it feels good to do so. When he is taken away the freedom of choice, he realizes how oppressive the government is. - Free will- in the movie, F. Alexander keeps mentioning “without choice and free will, man is no longer human but a "clockwork orange," a deterministic mechanism.” Free will becomes problematic in some ways when we extend it to the community. His free will violates the “harm principle” stated by the philosopher John Stuart Mill, which “any action is permissible so long as it does not harm anyone else.” The author Burgess states that “we should permit harmful free will, since goodness is authentic only if it is chosen; if goodness is forced, as is done to Alex through Ludovico's Technique, it is inhuman and mechanical.” - The oppression of socialism- The “government” has all the power, the citizens are forced to follow the rules. Alex is being oppressed by the government. The government eliminates the evil in Alex, also his freedom to choose. - Good and Evil – "Is a man who has been forced to be good better than a man who chooses evil?" Alex chooses evil because it is in his nature to do so. After the government has taken away his freedom of choice, he was turned into something other than human being. According to the author, An evil Alex is a human Alex. Perspective It shows conservative view when the final scene shows Alex has not changed or been cured, just more adept at mischief. The therapist had made promises that science would “cure” Alex and make him a productive member of society. However, this failed and Alex remains what he is, “a monster.” He is returned to his old-self, where he feels “right” about himself as a monster. In the first part of A Clockwork Orange, with Alex and his drooges running about committing ultra-violence in a seemingly hypersexual and morally ambiguous world, could be seen as a critique of left-wing beliefs in social liberty. In the next part of A Clockwork Orange, when Alex is brainwashed and used as a pawn by the government, satires a right-wing approach to government justice system - where the classical view of a quick fix punishment is attempted (but shown to ultimately fail, as Alex doesn't stay brainwashed for long). Difference between the film and the novel Film (Stanley Kubrick) Novel (Anthony Burgess) In the final chapter, it ends with Alex's In the final chapter, it ends with Alex positive change in character; he offered an open-ended government job matures and outgrows sociopathy — implying he remains a sociopath at heart. In the film, Alex has a pet snake. The novel has never mentioned Alex having a pet snake. His surname is 'DeLarge', due to Alex's Alex's last name was never revealed. calling himself "Alexander the Large" in the novel. Alex is recognized when singing the F. Alexander recognizes Alex through a song 'Singing in the Rain' in the bath, number of careless references to the which he had hauntingly done while previous attack (His wife, etc.) attacking F. Alexander's wife. This scene was cut out and, instead of Alex is offered up for treatment after Alex practically volunteering for the killing a fellow inmate who was procedure, he was simply selected by sexually harassing him. the head of the government due to speaking out of turn. Alex is beaten nearly to death by the Instead of Georgie, who was said to police after his rehabilitation. In the have been killed, the second officer is film, the policemen are his former Billy Boy, the leader of the opposing droogs, Dim and Georgie. gang that Alex and his droogs fought earlier, both in the movie and the book. In the film, to minimize controversy, At the beginning of the novel, Alex is a Alex is portrayed as somewhat older, 15 years old juvenile delinquent. around 17 or 18. In the film, the girls are young adults In the novel, Alex drugs and rapes two that seem to have consensual, playful ten-year-old girls. sex with him, with no suggestion of using any drugs and without any violence.
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