We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange


by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

He just sort of looked right through us poor plennies, saying, in a very beautiful real educated goloss: "The Government cannot be concerned any longer with outmoded penological theories. Cram criminals together and see what happens. You get concentrated criminality, crime in the midst of punishment. Soon we may be needing all our prison space for political offenders." (2.2.17)

Forget the criminals, we need the space for political dissidents! These are the true colors of the Government. Aside from not caring about individual criminals, the Government seeks to free up space for the forces of subversion it seems to have imprisoned. What better way to quell discontent than to jail all dissidents.

Quote #2

"Choice," rumbled a rich deep goloss. I viddied it belonged to the prison charlie. "He has no real choice, has he? Self-interest, fear of physical pain, drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. Its insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice."

"These are subtleties," like smiled Dr. Brodsky. "We are not concerned with motive, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down crime--" (2.7.13-14)

The Government is not concerned with individual motives, nor with the higher, philosophical questions of ethics and choice. Indeed, the Government cares more about crime control and really doesn't want anything to do with the individual.

Quote #3

"The point is," this Minister of the Inferior was saying real gromky, "that it works." (2.7.25)

The Minister of the Interior embodies the pragmatic, Machiavellian attitude of the Government: as long as IT WORKS, anyone can be sacrificed.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...