© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess

Manipulation Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I had to have a smeck, though, thinking of what I'd viddied once in one of these like articles on Modern Youth, about how Modern Youth would be better off if A Lively Appreciation Of The Arts could be like encouraged. Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry would like quieted Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized. Civilized my syphilised yarbles. Music always sort of sharpened me up, O my brothers, and made me feel like old Bog himself, ready to make with the old donner and blitzen and have vecks and ptitsas creeching away in my ha ha power. (1.4.24)

Interesting thought: education and appreciation for the arts and music can manipulate shy little rascals into becoming high-achieving kids. Alex bastardizes this idea, though, because he admittedly uses the power of music to be even more violent towards others.

Quote #2

"Common criminals like this unsavoury crowd"--(that meant me, brothers, as well as the others, who were real prestoopnicks and treacherous with it)--"can best be dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex, that's all. Full implementation in a year's time. Punishment means nothing to them, you can see that. They enjoy their so-called punishment. They start murdering each other." (2.2.17)

This "curative" approach sounds great in theory, but doesn't it strike you as a bit inhumane? But then, all sorts of manipulation can sound morally questionable. And then you get stuck with the question: how can one reform criminals at all?

Quote #3

"You had a very positive response. Tomorrow, of course, there'll be two sessions, morning and afternoon, and I should imagine that you'll be feeling a bit limp at the end of the day. But we have to be hard on you, you have to be cured." (2.5.5)

The behavior modification sessions are tough on Alex. They are supposed to cure him of his tendencies to do evil, though, so of course the Government thinks it's a fair trade-off. He's already sinned, so now it should be a prize for him to be reformed.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement