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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

by Anthony Burgess

Morality and Ethics Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"The heresy of an age of reason," or some such slovos. "I see what is right and approve, but I do what is wrong. No, no, my boy, you must leave it all to us. But be cheerful about it. It will soon be all over. In less than a fortnight now you'll be a free man." Then he patted me on the pletcho. (2.2.24)

The doctor thinks Alex's system of morality is all out of whack: he sees what is right, but he still chooses to behave badly. To the doctor, consistency in thought and action (as in, what should one do given one's circumstances) is the most important factor in morality.

Quote #5

And what, brothers, I had to escape into sleep from then was the horrible and wrong feeling that it was better to get the hit than give it. If that veck had stayed I might even have like presented the other cheek. (2.6.39)

Isn't it interesting that Alex believes that it is "horrible and wrong" to do the Christian thing by turning the other cheek? What does this say about his system of morality? Is it warped?

Quote #6

Dr. Brodsky said to the audience: "Our subject is, you see, impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to switch to a diametrically opposed attitude. Any questions?" (2.7.12)

Can we speak of morality when a person, by being impelled towards the good, actually ends up being inclined towards evil? If you're skirting your intentions due to physical distress, are you acting in accordance with your morality or simply out of physical compulsion?

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