Dystopian Literature; Coming-Of-Age; Horror; Satire
The beauty of A Clockwork Orange is that it has its feet on four boats: dystopian novel, coming-of-age story, horror flick, and political satire. Arguably, there's a fifth philosophical commentary boat that could also claim admission. From the top: it is a dystopian novel because it takes place in the future, and everything is dark, eerie, violent, and headed down a sad and non-utopian path. It is a coming-of-age story because of the trials and transformation Alex endures. The horror aspect of the work cannot be clearer amidst all the beating, teeth-plucking, eye-gouging, mugging, and raping that occurs. The satiric aspect comes through in the novel's political commentary. Finally, amidst all that debate about moral choice, free will, personal freedom, and behavioral modification, Burgess conveys a real anti-totalitarian message in this novel.