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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange


by Anthony Burgess

Minister of the Interior

Character Analysis

The Minister of the Interior is a pragmatist, a utilitarian, or even a Machiavellian, if you will. OK, more to the point, he is an ends-justify-the-means kind of guy, or basically, Mr. Necessary Evil. Except that he doesn't see it as "evil," per se. As a high-ranking government official given the task of reforming the streets before the next election, he is interested only in results, not in people. He wants a stable society, and to achieve this, he is willing to sacrifice any principle or individual citizen for achieving that goal.

The Minister institutes the Reclamation Treatment program (which involves Ludovico's Technique) against hardened criminals. The idea is that the criminal tendencies are permanently removed forever through behavioral modifications. Against the problematic "modern youth" that plague the streets, the Minister introduces a rather creative "police program." Apparently, this program involves giving the hoodlums police badges so they can terrorize the rest of the people and turn them against individual crime. Instead, it's essentially institutionalized crime. What a guy, huh?

He readily admits to Alex that he doesn't care about individual liberties, and feels no guilt over it. After all, his only concern is the welfare of the State at large, so it would be asking too much for him to mind the details. However, he does realize that in order for the State's citizens to accept him, he has to win Alex's approval – and that, of course, is his only motivation for restoring Alex to his old self towards the end of the book.

Minister of the Interior Timeline