Struggles between the Government In A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess has created a dark, gloomy socialist state of futuristic world and the theme of this novel deals with the struggles between the governments. The society in the story is inhabited by fearful citizens, wild young outlaws, and a totalitarian government which is unable to control the society’s flood of violence. The citizens are more than usually suspicious of strangers, especially after dark, they would not go out to the dangerous streets, unless they are really needed.
Also, this government owns all property, every citizen is forced to work, jails are cruel and the government controls the media. In this novel, social contract is eliminated from the story. “The social contract is an unwritten set of guidelines that embodies the most basic laws governing a society. Included in the social contract are such topics as courtesy, theft, murder, and tolerance. ” Since youths are less educated, they always hang together, do foolish, violent things and disobey the laws.
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Therefore, the three problems that struggle the government are youths go wild due to negligence, insensitive government deny free will from rehabilitating youth, and government abandons youth. The novel shows lawless young hooligans taking over the society. Gangs of youngsters roam the streets day and night appealing in a virtual reign of terror. Alex, the main character and his friends are not an exception. They are free to do whatever they want that notably involves harming others.
Anyone unlucky enough to become their target maybe raped, robbed, beaten, murdered, and all the basic doings generally associated with violence. “…she like tried to lever herself up from the floor, so I gave her a malenky fair kick in the litso…” (Burgess, 1962:48) It is because in this society, the young are savage, while middle age to the old people is quite mellow. “It’s a stinking world because it lets the young get on to the old like you done, and there’s no law nor order no more. ” (Burgess, 1962:12) Violent crime seems to be the activity of the youth, since they are too young for employment or marriage.
This kind of culture happens in the society is all created by the totalitarian government, who disregards youth, because the government needs every adults to go to work, so the parents don’t even have any time to take care of their children, and the government believes that with proper parental and academic discipline, youth can comport and take care themselves more appropriately. So, the youths in this society are lack of moral sense that makes them go straight into things when they think of doing it.
They don’t’ think of the consequences after they have done harmful things to others. Therefore, due to the society in the novel, it has established immorality of youth. As the crimes increasingly rapidly in the society, the government has produced a “Ludovico’s Technique”, which is a method of condition to cure a person of his violent behavior by forcing him to be unable to choose violence. This is done by forcing a client to view films of ultra-violence and at the same time he is injected with nausea.
The violence seen on the films and the intense nausea are associated with each other in the brain causing the client to profound dizziness when experiencing anything of a violent nature. The victim of this experimental treatment is the central character, Alex and he is the guinea pig for this rehabilitative method either. Yet, at the same time strips him of his own humanity by not allowing him the freedom to choose right or wrong. Moreover, in the process, he has also become refused to his beloved Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which is his past love.
Music has always been a form of entertainment and also has been a large factor in the handling of senses. This is the same way that the government which attempts to correct Alex also destroys him. During one of these films, the soundtrack plays along with it happens to be Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony which the doctors have used on Alex. “It’s a useful emotional heightener, that all,”(Burgess, 1962:85) said one of the doctors. Thus, not only when he sees or does violence, but also when he listens to classical music he is overwhelmed with the intense pain and nausea.
Due to the failure of the “Ludovico’s Technique” on Alex, the government has discarded the youth, and escaped the reality rather than to face the society. On the other hand, after the conditioning on Alex, he has became a clockwork orange, because he is no longer has the free will to choose his actions and in order to reverse the pains, Alex has to think of something good or do something nice. Therefore, he is a thoroughly harmless person that anyone can act rude things on him. The crystal veck was on to me now, starting to eal me malenky weak tolchocks on my litso, and I tried to get away and itty out, but these starry rookers that held me were stronger than I had thought. (Burgess, 1962:108) Also, no one has welcomed him back to the society, even his parent have gave up on him. Besides, Alex has encountered many of his earlier victims, and F. Alexander is one of them. He is a writer, who is fighting the oppressive government, and so, he has used the poor Alex as a tool to make the government look bad by locking Alex to a room with a very loud classical music sound on, this side effect of the treatment has lead Alex to attempt suicide.
This tragedy of Alex’s oppression is highly publicized, so the insensitive government finally understands and realizes that their decision of the method of conditioning to the criminals is a mistake, because this treatment has not help the criminals really stop their violence, but rather, the treatment has destroyed a human by denying a human free moral choice. This news has outraged the citizens and so this experiment has brought them votes is backpedaling for election program. Therefore, the government has fixed Alex and brings back Alex’s violence with his beloved classical music.
As a result, the government has made the case complicated than at the beginning. Overall, the socialist government in A Clockwork Orange is insensitive and selfish, because he doesn’t care about the citizens in the society. In fact, he only worries about his election, so that why the society has gone wild. Moreover, the government ever thinks of the consequences after his decision, such as “Ludovico’s Technique”, he only knows that by using this method of conditioning, it would help to stop the violence from a human, but he never thinks of a question like “Is it better to be evil, rather than force to be good? Therefore, in this novel, the street gangs have taken to terrorizing the streets at night. It is mostly the young, the teenaged gangs who are seen to be the most alive, robbing, raping and fighting. “…the male human goloss coming in and telling them all to be joyful…” (Burgess, 1962:35) This is a scene when Alex is raping two young girls. In addition, since the government controls everything, the citizens in the society are depicted as middle-class, apathetic, self-centered and the youths are especially wild, because they are lack of manner and moral skills.