A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Why is freedom of choice such an important concept in this book? Do you believe "choice" is a predominantly American ideal? What would people in Communist China (or anywhere else with much stricter censorship) think about the matter? What would they think about the book?
- Would the violent, nadsat-speaking modern youth be better off with RPGs (role-playing games) or worse off? In what ways could RPGs influence their behavior positively or negatively?
- What does moral choice have to do with the concept of good and evil? How would you define good and of evil? Good and bad? Can a person who doesn't really know how to commit crime be viewed as a good person, or must she affirmatively decline to commit crimes to be viewed as such?
- Are brainwashed people no longer people? Are they more like robots or children? What about people who have been indoctrinated with a certain religious philosophy; can they still be considered autonomous? How about people who have been manipulated subliminally through decades upon decades of masterful advertising?
- Can language shape thought? Does society (and what happens in it) shape language and communication? If the youth in the book were not communicating in nadsat – which, arguably, may be conducive to violence – is it possible that they might act less violently? What is the importance of nadsat to the tenets of the book?
- Based on what Alex thinks about in the last chapter, do you suppose that children can also be considered clockwork oranges? What is the significance of that reference? Why does Burgess reference it throughout the book? Who is the best example of a clockwork orange, and why?
- Do you see a connection between violence and music? Why or why not? Why do you suppose Alex links the two? How coincidental is it that Ludovico's Technique also involves music? What is the significance of that?